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Discrimination Law

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Employment Discrimination Lawyers

The Equality Act 2010 sets out nine characteristics, including sex, age and disability, that protect people from being discriminated against at work. Your organisation could face a costly Employment Tribunal claim, as well as reputation damage if your processes and workplace diversity initiatives (or lack of them) discriminate against certain employees.

What are discrimination claims?

Equality legislation applies from the very first interaction someone has with your organisation and applies to job applicants, candidates, employees, former employees, workers, agency workers and contractors. When someone makes a discrimination claim, they need to show evidence that they have been treated unfairly because of a protected characteristic.

How can we help discrimination claims and workplace diversity initiatives?

Our diversity and discrimination lawyers understand the sensitivity of these matters and the importance of resolving them quickly. We can help you tackle equality, diversity and discrimination issues with confidence.

Services include:

  • Advising you on your obligations under the Equality Act and other legislation
  • Analysing potential risks of discrimination at work
  • Creating legally compliant employment contracts, policies and staff handbooks
  • Helping you follow the correct procedures from recruitment to dismissal so that you can prove fair and equal treatment
  • Drafting fair and consistent workplace diversity initiatives
  • Negotiation and mediation to resolve disputes
  • Representing you at an Employment Tribunal if a claim is made against you

Discrimination complaints could include:

  • Differences in pay and benefits under the equal pay legislation
  • Inappropriate behaviour, such as harassment or bullying based on a protected characteristic
  • Discriminatory job advertisements, such as requiring a maximum number of years’ experience which would discriminate indirectly against older candidates
  • Conscious or unconscious bias in interviews or promotions decisions
  • Unfair rules, such as when a pregnant employee is not allowed to adjust the work tasks she is struggling with due to her pregnancy.

 

Can lack of diversity be a cause of discrimination?

Many companies are creating workplace diversity initiatives on the basis that diversity is not only good for business performance but also an important element of a company’s duty to prevent discrimination in the workplace. Research suggests that a lack of diversity in the workplace can promote discriminatory behaviour.

Ideally, these initiatives should be constructed with the help of a legal professional. Even the most well-intentioned workplace diversity initiative might result in a tribunal claim if it discriminates against a protected group. Employers must take extra care with positive action initiatives, for example, as they may result in people being temporarily treated differently in order to achieve an equal outcome, such as providing extra training to underrepresented groups.

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