Discrimination in the workplace can take place in many forms, but it is always unlawful. If you have been discriminated against, you could have a claim for compensation against your employer.
Our discrimination solicitors in Chelmsford have a wealth of employment law expertise, including discrimination claims. Whether you need to raise a complaint at work, you are going through your workplace’s grievance procedure, or you need help bringing an Employment Tribunal claim, we can provide guidance and professional support every step of the way.
How our discrimination solicitors in Chelmsford can help
We provide advice to employees who are currently experiencing or have experienced discrimination at work, including employees who have been fired or forced to resign because of discrimination. We also provide advice to people who have experienced discrimination during a recruitment process.
Due to our experience, we have an in-depth understanding of the distress and trauma you are probably feeling at this challenging time. We believe that everyone has a right to feel safe at work and no one should ever feel fear, humiliation or stress because of a personal characteristic.
We have a wide range of experience bringing claims against all types of employer, from small to medium enterprises, to large regional and national corporations, to public sector employers.
Our employment law solicitors can talk you through your options for taking action, whether this be going through your employer’s grievance procedure or starting a legal claim. We have a wide range of experience bringing claims against all types of employer, from small to medium enterprises, to large regional and national corporations, to public sector employers.
Depending on the individual circumstances of your case, we could achieve a range of positive outcomes, including compensation.
What “counts” as discrimination at work?
Under the Equality Act 2010, there are 9 characteristics for which you are legally protected from discrimination, so if you are being treated unfairly or differently because of one or more of these characteristics, then it is unlawful:
- Religion and belief
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Sexual orientation
- Gender reassignment
Employers cannot discriminate against you while you work there nor during the recruitment process. For example, an employer cannot ask you questions about protected characteristics during an interview, such as whether you are married or have children.
Employers also cannot allow other employees to discriminate against you.
You also cannot be treated unfairly at work by your employer or even other members of staff if:
- You have previously complained about discrimination
- Someone thinks you have a protected characteristic but you actually haven’t
- You made a complaint about discrimination against someone else or supported someone else’s complaint
What is direct discrimination?
If someone treats you less favourably than others because of a protected characteristic, it is direct discrimination. Examples of direct discrimination include:
- Being punished for “errors” when others are not punished for making the same mistakes
- Changing your job role after you disclose a protected characteristic
- Firing a pregnant woman for needing time off to attend hospital and midwife appointments
What is indirect discrimination?
Indirect discrimination occurs when you are technically treated the same way as everyone else but you are put at a disadvantage because of a protected characteristic. Examples of indirect discrimination include:
- Preventing any employees from working from home which puts you at a disadvantage because of a disability
- Implementing a strict dress code which indirectly forbids certain aspects of religious dress
- Requiring that all employees regularly travel on business trips which puts you at a disadvantage because you have children
What are reasonable adjustments?
Under the Equality Act 2010, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a “substantial and long term” negative impact on your ability to go about your day-to-day activities.
If you have a disability, your employer has a duty to make “reasonable adjustments”. This could include allowing you to work from home, adjusting your work duties, or making physical changes to allow you to access the office.
If your employer refuses or fails to make reasonable adjustments, this could be discrimination. However, your employer must know about your disability for the duty to arise.
What is victimisation?
If you are being treated unfairly because you previously complained about discrimination or supported someone else during their complaint, this is called victimisation. Please note that this there is a stark difference between victimisation under the legislation and bullying at work.
Why choose our discrimination claims solicitors in Chelmsford?
At Gepp Solicitors, we provide expert advice and professional support across a wide range of employment law matters. We offer a bespoke service and tailored advice to ensure we meet our clients’ individual needs and exceed their expectations.
We fully understand how distressing going through discrimination at work can be. We will always approach your matter sensitively but practically, giving you honest advice about your prospects for making a claim and handling the entire process on your behalf.
All our employment cases are expert-led and our team is headed by Alexandra Dean, a Partner in our firm with over 20 years of experience. Therefore, you can trust that our advice is high quality and completely reliable.
Alex is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, an organisation which promotes principles of best practice in the employment law profession.