Discrimination: The Law
Employment law has been in the forefront of fighting discrimination. It is now unlawful to discriminate against an employee on the grounds of race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion and religious belief.
The discrimination legislation covers a number of different Acts of Parliament. In general the Acts all seek to make four forms of discrimination unlawful in employment law; direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
Direct discrimination can be obvious: for example, offering different pay scales for men and women. In employment law, it means less favourable treatment causing a detriment to an employee on the grounds of race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, age or religion or belief.
Indirect discrimination can be more difficult to raise awareness of. In employment law, indirect discrimination is where an employer enforces a ‘provision, criterion or practice' which applies equally to all employees but adversely affects one group more than others and cannot be justified.
Harassment is another form of discrimination. In employment law, harassment is where a person is subjected to unwanted conduct which violates that person's dignity or creates a humiliating or offensive environment and the conduct is based on the grounds of race, sex (including conduct of a sexual nature), disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age, religion or belief.
Discrimination can also arise as a result of what is known as victimisation in the various discrimination and employment law Acts. Victimisation is where a person suffers less favourable treatment because he or she has been involved in some way with an earlier complaint of discrimination.There are a lot of information sites available that deal with the various discrimination topics where you can obtain factual legal information if you believe you are being discriminated against at work. However, most of the people who call us want practical advice on how to resolve a difficult situation and as experienced London employment lawyers, we thought you might find it more helpful to read about two of our clients who suffered as a result of discrimination in our client study section, and how we found a solution that worked for them. The two cases we have picked involve sex discrimination but we have in-depth experience of other forms of discrimination as well.