Discrimination against an employee can take many forms from discrimination due to their age, sex or pregnancy, to race or disability discrimination. If an employee is threatening action against you for any type of discrimination, early legal advice can resolve the issue without a costly disputed case.
Each of your employees has a duty to be treated equally when it comes to payment, training or promotions and should only be judged on their ability to perform their job. We can review your current working practices and employment contracts to ensure that you are not falling foul of these discrimination laws and to prevant a claim under The Equal Pay Act 1970 being made against you.
Sexual Discrimination can be direct (treating your employee differently because of their sex, marital status or pregnancy) or indirect (eg height requirements or failing to recruit part-time workers). It can also include harassment, for instance, behaving in an offensive manner towards your employees, or allowing other employees to do so. The other type of discrimination is victimisation which can include treating your staff unfairly for making a complaint about discrimination.
Age discrimination is only permitted in very few circumstances, such as protecting older or younger workers in certain situations, but otherwise discrimination purely on the grounds of your employee's age cannot be justified and may lead to a claim against you for Age Discrimination.
Racial Discrimination is covered by the Race Relations Act of 1976 which says that an employee cannot be discriminated against on account of their:
- nationality or
- ethnic/national origins
If you have discriminated against a member of your staff on any of these grounds it may be unlawful and you could face a claim for compensation. We can investigate the circumstances and advise you of the likely outcome.
The Disability Discrimination Act protects employees from being unlawfully discriminated against purely for a reason related to their disability. This can include all stages of the recruitment process, from interviews to proficiency tests and dismissal or redundancy.
You have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to your employee's workplace, which can include allocating some of their work to other people, allowing them to work flexible hours, providing suitable equipment etc. There are many aspects to consider in relation to reasonable adjustments. If you have any questions or are concerned that you might not be meeting your requirements, we can advise you.
Find out from our case study how our expert knowledge has helped employers deal with discrimination claims:
High Complex Case
Client C’s former employee had brought a claim for discrimination upon which Form ET1 was a lengthy document that had been prepared by the former employee’s legal representative. Due to the complexity of the case, we instructed our employment barrister to draft on behalf of Client C Form ET3 and Grounds of Resistance.
Thereafter, we arranged for our employment barrister to represent Client C at the Case Management Conference. We then proceeded to deal with the directions, including drafting and preparing index to the Hearing bundle and seeking to agree the same with the former employee’s legal representative and thereafter drafting the Hearing bundle.
The final Hearing was listed for 5 days upon which we instructed our employment barrister to represent Client C which led to a determination being made by the Tribunal after the conclusion of the Hearing (5 days).
The bill was higher than the simple case and medium complex case because:
- As the former employee was bringing a claim for discrimination, the matter involved complex issues which needed to be dealt with fully within the Form ET3.
- There were substantial documents and as we were representing Client C, who was the Respondent, it was our duty to put together an index to the Hearing bundle together with compiling and paginating the Hearing bundles themselves, which consisted of the equivalent of three arch lever files.
- It was also necessary to produce approximately four witness statements that were required to be prepared in accordance with the Employment Tribunal directions.
- No settlement could be reached and therefore Client C was required to be represented upon a five day Hearing.
- In addition to our bill, there were disbursements in relation to our employment barrister’s fees which were
- £1,200 plus VAT for drafting ET3
- £1500 plus VAT for representation at the Case Management Conference (that had a duration of 2 hours) Hearing.
- Representation upon the five day Hearing - £5,500 plus VAT.
Let Us Help To Protect Your Business?
With all discrimination matters, early intervention from Employment Solicitors acting in your business' interests can save costly and time consuming litigation.
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