What is workplace discrimination?
Workplace discrimination is when an employee, worker or agency worker is treated unfairly because of any of the protected characteristics.. The Equality Act 2010 sets out nine protected characteristics that an employer cannot discriminate against. These characteristics are:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Sexual orientation
- Religion and belief
Types of workplace discrimination
There are several types of workplace discrimination and it’s important to understand them as they can look quite different.
Direct Discrimination is when you’re being treated unfairly because of a protected characteristic. For example, if a woman is not offered a promotion and the job goes to a less qualified man.
Indirect Discrimination is when your employer has a policy, for example, that affects all employees but puts a particular protected group to a disadvantage and you specifically at a disadvantage. For example, a requirement to work long and irregular hours may indirectly discriminate against women with young children or disabled employees who need to have a regular work pattern in order to manage their condition.
Harassment is unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect of violating your dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, or humiliating environment. Examples of harassment are:
- Threats or abusive comments;
- jokes, teasing, or silence;
- physical gestures;
- exclusion, including from social events;
- threats about job security;
- unwelcome sexual advances and comments.
Victimisation is when you’re treated unfairly at work because you complained about discrimination or have helped someone who has been the victim of discrimination. Although often thought of as the same as harassment and bullying, victimisation is its own separate form of prohibited conduct under the Equality Act.
How can we help you?
What should I do if I'm bring discrimination against at work?
It can be extremely distressing to be discriminated against at your place of work, so it’s important you do your best to manage your emotions and take the appropriate steps.
There are a few things you can do before seeking legal advice, including raising a grievance about the discrimination with your line manager or team leader, for example. However, you might want to get legal advice as soon as possible. If this is the case, you can contact our employment law team for a free initial discussion. We’ll discuss your circumstances and give you an idea of whether the claim is worth pursuing.
What is the ACAS code of practice?
The ACAS code of practice emphasises that employers and employees should always seek to resolve their workplace issues internally before resorting to legal action and it sets out the principles for handling disciplinary and grievance situations fairly.
Unfair dismissal laws require your employer to act reasonably and that a fair disciplinary procedure should include an internal hearing at which you can be accompanied by a work colleague or trade union representative. Ultimately a tribunal will decide what was reasonable in the circumstances.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
To make a claim for unfair dismissal you need to act fast as the time limit is short. You only have three months less one day from the date your employment was terminated, so you should contact us as soon as possible. The first step in making a claim is to contact ACAS and start the early conciliation process.
How can PM Law help you?
Our experienced employment discrimination solicitors can help in a number of ways including by advising you of your rights and assisting you to pursue a claim in the employment tribunal.
To speak to one of our employment experts you can call 03300 532182. Alternatively, you can fill out the form on this page or send an email with details of your claim to email@example.com. Our solicitors are on hand to discuss how we can help.
Employment Law FAQs
Didn’t find the answers you were looking for? Look at the FAQs below for more information on our employment law claims process.
You can make an unfair dismissal claim if you've been in continuous employment for at least two years.
Under the terms of the Equality Act 2010, it's your right to claim for unfair dismissal if you've been discriminated against during your employment.
The amount of compensation you could receive for unfair dismissal varies depending on several factors, including the specific circumstances of your case and the jurisdiction in which you are filing the claim.
When assessing the compensation for unfair dismissal, employment tribunals typically consider the following elements:
Basic Award: This is calculated based on your age, length of service, and weekly pay, and it is subject to a statutory cap. The exact calculation formula may differ depending on the jurisdiction.
Loss of Earnings: The tribunal will consider the actual financial loss you suffered as a result of the unfair dismissal. This may include the income you would have earned during the notice period or until you find alternative employment.
Future Losses: In certain cases, if it is determined that you will experience difficulties finding new employment or face a significant reduction in earnings, the tribunal may award compensation to cover future losses.
Benefits and Bonuses: If you lost out on benefits, bonuses, or other entitlements due to the unfair dismissal, the tribunal may consider including these in the compensation.
Each case differs and there is no set amount of compensation you will receive.
Workplace bullying is offensive, intimidating and malicious behaviour that's intended to undermine an individual or group of employees.
If you think you're a victim of workplace bullying, then you should raise this with your employer and bring evidence if possible.
Our hourly rate is £177 + VAT of £35.40.
We have different pricing options: –
- We can offer our service under a Damages Based Agreement – “No Win, No Fee”. If your claim is successful, we will charge you 35% of any compensation received inclusive of VAT.
- We can accept instructions on a private paying basis:
- Simple case – £5,000 + VAT of £1,000 – £7,000 + VAT of £1,400
- Medium complexity case – £7,000 (+ VAT of £1,400) – £12,500 (+ VAT of £2,500)
- High complexity case – £12,500 + VAT of £2,500 – £17,500 + VAT of £3,500
- If you have legal expenses insurance we can work alongside your insurer in line with the terms of the policy.
Counsel’s fees for a hearing could amount to anything as high as £1,500 + VAT of £300 per day.