Put simply, ‘discrimination' is a term in employment law which means that you have been treated less favourably than other employees due to a personal characteristic. If you believe that you are a victim, discrimination solicitors from Oratto will be able to help you decide how to move forward.
With the advent of personal injury claims and the plethora of law firms highlighting the rights of the individual, more and more employees are becoming aware of their rights under employment law.
True discrimination suffered in the workplace can be a deeply upsetting thing to have to go through and this is why the law protects against it. Discrimination solicitors will be able to identify what elements of your treatment have been discriminatory and why.
What does the law protect me from?
The basic grounds on which discrimination is often found are:
- sexual orientation
In the workplace your rights are protected specifically and you cannot be discriminated against in relation to:
- employment terms and/or conditions
- job training
- pay and/or benefits
- any promotion opportunities which may arise
Your employer must ensure that all employees have equal access to any benefits or opportunities and that their rights under employment law are protected. Contact Oratto member discrimination solicitors for instant advice and support.
Our member lawyers have years of training in employment law which they will use to help your case. We can put you in touch instantly via phone, email or face to face with the right solicitor for you. Having that legal expertise behind you can help you onto the road to discrimination-free employment.
How does discrimination occur?
There are two distinct types of discrimination that can happen in the workplace.
The first is direct discrimination, where an employee is targeted specifically for different and less favourable treatment because of age, race, religion, gender reassignment, sexual orientation etc. These are known as protected characteristics and it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against individuals with such protected characteristics or if he believes they have certain characteristics (discrimination by perception). Likewise if an employee is discriminated against because of the protected characteristic of a family member, partner, friend or colleague, this is again unlawful (discrimination by association).
The second is indirect discrimination which means that the employer has a policy in place which excludes specific groups from certain benefits. For example, a rule that only people over the age of forty can work on a certain floor, or if only male employees are allowed to apply for promotion.
Discrimination and disability
Employers are obliged to adhere to employment law rules regarding disability, particularly:
- accommodating disability in application forms – providing audio or Braille formats
- providing wheelchair access where necessary
- ensuring that the correct facilities are in place for disabled access to places such as recreation/refreshment facilities
Is it ever lawful to exclude certain groups of people?
It is, but rarely. Examples of situations like this would include Roman Catholic schools which only accept pupils of the Roman Catholic religion, or treatment centres for Muslim women where only female workers are permitted. Discrimination solicitors will be able to provide details of any public body which has legitimate reason for restricting their choice of employees.
What can I do if I've been discriminated against?
The first thing to do is to establish if you are a victim of discrimination. An Oratto member lawyer will be happy to listen to your individual circumstances and advise accordingly. You can choose which member solicitor you want to engage with; part of our service is ensuring that you are 100% comfortable with your lawyer.
The next stage is to record any incidents of discrimination that you feel have occurred. Details should include where and when it took place and if there were any witnesses. At this point, you may wish to attempt to make an informal approach to the person or persons who are perpetrating the behaviour to try and correct the situation.
If this approach fails, or you feel uncomfortable going directly to the person who is discriminating against you, you should submit a formal complaint via the grievance procedure for your company. At this point legal support becomes invaluable. Oratto member lawyers are highly trained and experienced in what to expect in circumstances like this.
If a meeting is arranged, then you have the right to take a trade union official (if applicable) with you, or a friend or work colleague for support. If it cannot be resolved at this stage, then the next thing to do is to contact ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services) for early conciliation. If things remain unresolved then your next move would be to make a formal complaint of unlawful discrimination. This needs to be done within three months of the last event, although if the process is on-going through ACAS then the time limit can be extended.
Discrimation solicitors give you confidence to tackle a multitude of circumstances
It can feel daunting to be taking on a public body, or a multi-million pound company, but it's important to remember that they are bound by employment law rules as much as you are.
Whether you feel you have been discriminated against, or you have suffered harassment or victimisation in the workplace, for practical, focused ideas and support through a stressful process contact Oratto. Call us today by phone, have an online chat or fill in an Oratto Match form so that we can call you back at a time to suit you.
Our member lawyers have the skills and experience to guide you.
Oratto member lawyers – helping to protect your rights in the workplace