What Can Constitute Discrimination At Work?
As an employee, you have protection against discrimination in the workplace – but what sort of thing counts as discrimination?
If you are treated adversely at work due to one of a set of personal attributes then that is discrimination.
These are known as “protected characteristics” and include: disability; age; gender; race; sexual orientation; religion; pregnancy or having a child; being married or in a civil partnership; and being or becoming a transsexual.
As an employee, you are also entitled to protection against discrimination if you are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic. This covers your situation if you have, for example, a homosexual child or a disabled spouse.
Of course, discrimination at work does happen. As you can see from the above, discrimination can take many forms but the general scenario is that someone with a protected characteristic is put at a disadvantage or treated less favourably. It is also possible to suffer discrimination if you are subject to harassment at work or victimisation (being targeted because you have made a complaint).
Examples of discrimination at work
- Redundancy because of a protected characteristic;
- Refusal of a job application because of a protected characteristic;
- Dismissal because of a protected characteristic;
- Receiving less favourable terms in your employment contract because of a protected characteristic;
- Denial of training because of a protected characteristic;
- Receiving less favourable pay and benefits because of a protected characteristic;
- Denial of promotion and transfer opportunities because of a protected characteristic;
All employers have a legal obligation to prevent discrimination at work and to deal with any incidents of discrimination promptly and effectively. Accordingly, if you think that you or a friend or relative is being discriminated against at work, it is important to take action to remedy the situation.
Contact us for help
For more information or advice about discrimination or any aspect of our employment services, please call us for a chat on 01343 544077.
Another option is to complete and send us a Free Online Enquiry.
We will be glad to help you. There is no charge for initial telephone discussions, which are also without obligation.