Discrimination

About This Project

STAFF MEETINGYou may bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal for discrimination if the reason for the discrimination is related to a “protected characteristic.” The protected characteristics as described by the Equality Act 2010 are:

  1. Age;
  2. Disability;
  3. Gender reassignment;
  4. Marriage and civil partnership;
  5. Pregnancy and maternity;
  6. Race;
  7. Religion or belief;
  8. Sex;
  9. Sexual orientation.

Direct discrimination

Direct discrimination occurs if, because of a relevant protected characteristic (1 – 9, above), you are treated less favourably than an actual or hypothetical comparator.

 

Indirect discrimination

Indirect discrimination applies to the following relevant characteristics:

  1. Age;
  2. Disability;
  3. Gender reassignment;
  4. Marriage and civil partnership;
  5. Race;
  6. Religion or belief;
  7. Sex;
  8. Sexual orientation.

 

Indirect discrimination will arise if your employer applies a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) to you, which it also applies to others and puts you, in relation your protected characteristic, at a disadvantage and which puts or would put others with that protected characteristic at a disadvantage.  It would be a defence for your employer to show that applying the PCP is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

An example of indirect discrimination is an employer posting a job stating that it was only available on a full time basis when, in actual fact, it could be done on a part time basis. The PCP would be that job had to be done full time and it would arguably put women at a disadvantage compared to men as, arguably, women are generally the primary carers for children. This PCP could therefore be discriminatory to a woman with child care responsibilities who wanted to carry out the job on a part time basis.

Definition of disability

The definition of disability for the purposes of the Equality Act is broad. That means that people who might not ordinarily consider themselves as disabled, may still have protection under the Equality Act. In order to have a disability, you must have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term adverse effect on your ability to carry our normal day to day activities. Illnesses such as diabetes, depression or back injuries could result in a finding of a disability. Cancer is deemed to be a disability.

 

Duty to make reasonable adjustments

If you have a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010, an employer has the duty to carry out a reasonable adjustments by removing a substantial disadvantage that a provision, criterion or practice or physical feature may cause for you.

An example of an employer failing in its duty to carry out reasonable adjustments might be a failure to provide a chair to an employee with a back condition with proper back support.

Harassment

You will have been subjected to harassment pursuant to the Equality Act if a person engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, and the conduct has the purpose or effect of violating your dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for you.

 

The relevant protected characteristics are:

  1. Age;
  2. Disability;
  3. Gender reassignment;
  4. Race;
  5. Religion or Belief;
  6. Sex;
  7. Sexual orientation.

 

Sexual harassment occurs if a person engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature; and the conduct has the purpose or effect of violating your dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for you.

 

Victimisation

You will have been victimised if you have been subjected to a detriment because:

  • You brought legal proceedings under the Equality Act 2010;
  • You gave evidence or information in connection with proceedings under the Equality Act 2010; or
  • You made an allegation that a person has contravened the Equality Act 2010.

A typical example of being victimised is being treated detrimentally (for example being subjected to disciplinary action) after having expressed that you have been discriminated against.

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