If you have been the victim of discrimination at work then taking action isn't just vital for your career, but will also help you maintain your self-respect. A greater awareness of discrimination over recent years has led to a tightening of the law, making it much more difficult for employers to evade their responsibilities and making it easier for affected employees to take action against discrimination in the workplace.
Our dedicated employment solicitors have many years' experience of successfully representing clients in discrimination cases and can help you resolve the situation. No matter how complex your case, we will give you practical advice and help to ensure that your interests are protected.
In the meantime you may be interested to know:
Men and women employees have a right to equal pay. This right is to equal pay for work of equal value, for like work or for work rated as equivalent. Pay includes both basic pay and other benefits from employment. However, if an employer can prove a "material factor" which is a legitimate aim and it is proportionate to do so then they may be able to justify the disparity.
Other types of discrimination
Discrimination can occur because of sex or marital status, gender reassignment, race or ethnic origin, hours worked, trade union membership, sexual orientation, religion and belief, age or disability (see below). Unlawful discrimination arises if a person is treated less favourably than someone else because of their sex or race etc. The comparison does not have to be with a real person but can be a hypothetical one. Discrimination may also arise from a dismissal or another issue such as harassment or victimisation.
"Indirect" discrimination - where an employee is subjected to a provision, criterion or practice which more employees of that sex (or race etc) would suffer - is also possible. For example, a requirement that an employee work full-time as opposed to part-time may indirectly discriminate against women.
Legal protection from discrimination exists at the recruitment stage, during the course of employment and, in some circumstances, following the end of employment. In certain exceptional circumstances, however, an employer may have a defence of "occupational requirement" in relation to some types of work.
Discrimination on the grounds of age
New legislation was introduced in the UK in October 2006 relating to age discrimination as a result of a European Union directive. Click here for more information.
Discrimination on the grounds of disability
Employees are also protected from discrimination because of disability. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term effect on a person's ability to carry out day-to-day activities. Unlawful discrimination occurs if someone is treated unfavourably for a reason arising from their disability or if an employer fails to make reasonable adjustments where a provision, criterion or practice, or a physical feature of the premises or failure to provide an auxiliary aid, places a disabled employee at a substantial disadvantage. A person with a disability may also suffer direct discrimination as described in the section "Other types of discrimination" above.
If you would like to talk in confidence to one of our experienced solicitors or have any questions about discrimination then please call us on 0845 6017756 or email us at email@example.com .