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Discrimination Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Discrimination and employment law

You believe that you've been a victim of discrimination at work?

Browse the 10 questions below and read the answers to guide you onto the next step.

Click on a question of interest to expand and reveal the answer.

The Equality Act prescribes certain protected characteristics which have legal protection. This includes a prohibition on less favourable treatment because of disability, pregnancy and maternity, race, sex, age, sexual orientation and other factors.

The law provides different types of protection in relation to protected characteristics. For example, disability discrimination differs to other claim areas in providing a legal obligation for an employer to implement reasonable adjustments to working arrangements to remove disadvantage arising from a disability in the workplace.

There are several different forms of discrimination, including direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and harassment. Each case will need careful analysis to determine the correct case to pursue. Special rules and approaches are required when considering particular claims involving pregnancy and maternity cases, and claims of disability discrimination.

Yes, whilst it might not be easy to sue your employer, discrimination claims can be brought in relation to ongoing employment and termination situations. In fact a discrimination case can be pursued by a prospective employee if a job is not offered by reason of discrimination.

During employment a person should lodge a grievance over problems in the workplace but using The Equality Act whilst in work can be a useful means of resolving a problem, and getting protection, for example of reasonable adjustments. All internal procedures should be pursued to a conclusion.

Unlike claims of unfair dismissal there is no service requirement in bringing a discrimination claim.

Yes, there are strict time limits, usually based upon 3 months from the act identified as discriminatory.

It can be difficult to identify a single act of discrimination, and the law provides that a claim can be pursued before a Tribunal if lodged within 3 months of the last in a series of discriminatory acts.

Some acts of discrimination do involve employment ending and the time limit in such cases is likely to be 3 months after employment ends. The time limit for discrimination can be different to that for an unfair dismissal case, and you are best advised to ensure that you take urgent advice to protect your legal rights.

In all discrimination cases it can be argued that a case can be accepted if that is just and equitable.

You may be able to claim losses arising from the discrimination, and you may have remedies arising from a linked unfair dismissal case.

The main additional remedy in a discrimination case is that you can claim compensation for injury to feelings, and each award will reflect the amount of upset caused to the individual by the employer`s discriminatory conduct. Awards can exceed £20000 and can attract interest.

Any Claimant can bring their own case before a Tribunal. Unlawful discrimination cases are difficult to advance on your own due to the complexity of the law in this area, not least in identifying the correct time limit and the case types to progress.

The Employment Tribunal operates by reference to Rules of Practice. All discrimination cases will involve a preliminary hearing and the Rules relating to the Tribunal process are more complex than for other case areas.

It is established by reference to statistics that discrimination cases are the most valuable for Claimants but that your chance of succeeding in a claim is enhanced through legal representation.

Although not strictly classed as ordinary discrimination cases there are other cases which apply similar principles by way of legal protection. These include the protection afforded to whistle blowers, those dealing with health and safety issues, and those seeking to deal with a domestic emergency. You should take urgent legal advice in relation to these case areas, remembering that there are strict time limits which apply to all employment law claims.

Every case will be considered on an individual basis, and we will ensure that the best funding option is adopted for you. This includes consideration of whether a no win no fee arrangement is the best option for the protection of your legal rights.


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