Race Discrimination Solicitors

Race discrimination at work can be extremely distressing and can result in anxiety and depression as well as physical illnesses.  If you have suffered workplace race discrimination, we can help get you the compensation you deserve.

What is the definition of 'race' as a protected characteristic?

The Equality Act 2010 sets out nine protected characteristics. The protected characteristics governing ‘race’ include colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin.

In some cases, employees may claim both racial and religious discrimination if there is a link between a religious group and a racial group.

What is direct race discrimination?

Direct race discrimination occurs when you are treated less favourably on the grounds of colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins.

Claimants most frequently pursue claims on the basis that they have been treated unequally because of their race, because someone thinks they are a particular race or the race of someone they associate with.

When you allege direct discrimination, you have to compare yourself with either an actual or hypothetical comparator to show less favourable treatment.  For example, a black person would have to show that they have been less favourably treated than a white person either was, or would have been, treated in similar circumstances.

An example of direct discrimination would be to refuse a candidate for promotion because of their colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origins.

What is indirect race discrimination?

Indirect racial discrimination is the application of a provision, criterion or practice which is discriminatory in relation to your colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origins although there have been case law developments in relation to indirect associative discrimination.

"Provision, criteria or practice" (PCP) is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of employment policies, practices, or procedures, whether formal or informal. This can include hiring criteria, promotion policies, work schedules, or any other workplace rules that impact employees.

Indirect discrimination occurs when an employer applies a PCP that, although apparently neutral and non-discriminatory on its face, has a disproportionate impact on individuals of a particular race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, or national origin.

For example, and employer specifying that job applications must have English as their first language indirectly discriminates against anyone who cannot meet this specific recruitment requirement yet can speak English.

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When does racial harassment arise?

Racial harassment occurs when someone makes you feel humiliated, intimidated, offended or degraded on the grounds of race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins.

In deciding whether conduct has the humiliating and intimidating effect complained of, a tribunal will consider your perception of the treatment and the other circumstances of the case.  For example, a black employee at work keeps being called a racist name by his colleagues. His colleagues say it’s just banter, but he feels insulted and offended by it.

If your employer can show it took reasonable steps to prevent colleagues from racially harassing you, it may have a defense to a harassment claim.  However, you could still succeed in a claim against the individual harasser.

Can an employee pursue a race discrimination claim post-employment?

It is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of race where the discrimination arises out of and is closely connected with the employment relationship. This includes post-employment issues such as a refusal to provide a reference.

What is the burden of proof in a race discrimination claim?

The burden of proof is the obligation to establish the allegations in a case to the required degree of certainty. In discrimination claims there are two key stages:

The employee has to establish a prima facie case, which means raising facts sufficient to raise a presumption that there has been some discrimination by the employer.  The burden of proof then shifts to the employer which has to prove that there was an adequate non-discriminatory for what happened.

How long do I have to bring a claim for race discrimination?

To make a claim for race discrimination you need to act fast as the time limit is short. You only have three months less one day from the act complained of, 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?

We can help with ACAS early conciliation and will speak to the conciliator and assist by clarifying your claims and the issues between you and your employer.  We can also help you negotiate a settlement.  If your employer won’t offer you fair compensation we can help 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 employment@pm-law.co.uk. 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 successfulwe 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.

Please Note: All VAT is 20% of the price given.