Discrimination at Work

If you have suffered discrimination at work, Truth Legal can help you get compensation from your employer.

Discrimination at work arises when someone is treated unfairly because of a protected characteristic. No matter the position of the person involved, whether manager, colleague, or even supplier or customer, UK law protects you from workplace discrimination. 

If your employer has not protected you from workplace discrimination, you are entitled to compensation. Truth Legal can support you through the process and hold your employers accountable.

What is a Protected Characteristic?

The Equality Act 2010 sets out characteristics that are protected by law. You can therefore bring one or more of the following claims for discrimination at work:

Sex Discrimination – this applies whether you are male or female; both genders can potentially be discriminated against.

  • Sexual Orientation Discrimination
  • Gender Reassignment Discrimination  – this might apply if you are treated less favourably because you are in the process of changing from one gender to another, or if you have had your gender changed.
  • Racial Discrimination
  • Disability Discrimination
  • Religion or Belief Discrimination
  • Marital Status Discrimination
  • Pregnancy and/or Maternity Discrimination
  • Paternity Discrimination
  • Age Discrimination – for example, younger workers are able to make a claim for age discrimination if they are being treated less favourably than more mature members of the workforce.  Age discrimination is one type of discrimination that can, potentially, be justified.

What should I do if I am worried about discrimination at work?

Many people feel unable to take action if they have been the victim of discrimination at work.  They are frightened of the consequences – for example, that they might lose their job if they complain or that they might not be believed by their line manager or HR department, or by their colleagues.  Other people might be concerned that complaining is disloyal or could upset their co-workers.

However, the law provides you with strong protection if you have been discriminated against.

If you are concerned that you are being discriminated against at work, speaking to a specialist Employment law solicitor might help you to feel more confident about whether your rights are being breached and, if so, whether you have a strong basis to make a claim.

Discrimination at Work FAQs

No – you are able to bring a claim for discrimination regardless of how long you have worked somewhere.

Protection from discrimination is known as a “day-one right”. In fact, discrimination protection also applies to the recruitment process.

There are many examples of discrimination in the workplace that would be classed as unlawful. This includes:

  • Direct discrimination – this might have taken place if you are treated badly at work as a direct result of having a “protected characteristic”.  For example, if you are demoted, or receive a pay cut, because you have become pregnant.
  • Indirect discrimination – indirect discrimination occurs if you are treated negatively at work in a way that is indirectly linked to your protected characteristic. For example, if you are a woman who cannot work full time due to childcare responsibilities and the organisation that you work for decides not to pay any bonuses to part-time employees, this might be indirect discrimination.  
  • Harassment – if you are treated in a way that makes you feel intimidated, humiliated or degraded at work because of a protected characteristic, this may be harassment.
  • Victimisation – if you are treated in a negative way at work because you have done something such as brought, or threatened to bring, an employment tribunal claim, helped a colleague to bring an employment tribunal claim or have complained about treatment at work that you consider to be discriminatory, you may be being victimised.  

There is no upper limit on the amount of compensation for financial loss that can be awarded for a discrimination claim.  This means that the damages awarded for a successful claim could be quite high, depending on the circumstance. Tribunals will also award compensation for injury to feelings to reflect the degree of emotional distress caused by the discrimination.

Calculating compensation for discrimination is not straightforward and involves weighing up the overall impact that it has had on you.

Compensation can be awarded on a number of bases, including:

  • Loss of earnings if you are dismissed or absent for discriminatory reasons.
  • Loss of pension and other benefits if you are dismissed for discriminatory reasons.
  • Other loss to you such as failure by your employer to grant a promotion, a bonus or to provide you with additional shifts or overtime.
  • Injury to feelings.  This is more difficult to measure than the loss of earnings.  The amount that is awarded is determined using some in the year April 2021 to April 2022, if the nature of the discrimination is not too severe, the lowest range of £900 – £9,100 in compensation will apply.  If the discrimination is more severe, the middle range of £9,100 – £27,400 will apply.  Finally, if the nature of the discrimination is very severe, the range of £27,400 – £45,600 will apply.  In exceptional circumstances, you might be entitled to compensation in excess of £45,600.

Speaking to a specialist employment solicitor about the situation might help you to gain perspective on whether harassment is taking place and, if it is, how to manage the situation if you choose to bring a claim.

Truth Legal’s Employment law experts can clearly talk you through your circumstances to evaluate whether you have a claim for discrimination at work.

Navya Shekhar, who is Head of Employment at Truth Legal, has extensive experience advising people in respect of their discrimination claims:

Navya advises that:

“If you believe that you might have a discrimination claim, it is important to speak to a qualified solicitor, who can advise you. 

A solicitor with expertise in this area will be able to identify whether you have a potential discrimination claim, the strength of the claim, and the type of claim, or claims, that you might be able to bring.

In addition, a solicitor will be able to guide you through a period that is potentially emotional, stressful and difficult, and ensure that you are well-represented and able to fight your corner when you might feel least able to defend yourself.”

You might be concerned about how you will be able to fund your discrimination claim.

Truth Legal can discuss your options with you.

  1. No Win No Fee Agreement:

One option is to agree a “no win, no fee agreement” with Truth Legal.  We will be able to talk to you about the merits of your claim early on.  We will also be able to explain the basis on which we can advise you, so you will have a clear understanding about your legal costs.

  1. Legal Expenses Insurance:

Another option is that you may have legal expenses insurance through you home insurance or other policy that covers employment tribunal claims.

  1. Fixed fee work

We can sometimes offer fixed fee work. This means that we will agree a price to get you to a particular point in your claim. Additional work can always be undertaken. Fixed fees allow clients to know precisely where they are up to.

  1. Legal expenses insurance

Another option is that you may have legal expenses insurance, perhaps even without realising it. Home insurance policies, and other kinds of insurance policy, may sometimes include legal expenses cover. Making an employment tribunal claim is usually included in this cover, meaning that your insurer may fund your legal costs. Read our guide on legal expenses insurance to find out more.

  1. Low hourly rated work

Like most law firms, we can also accept instructions, charging you an hourly rate. We are proud to offer lower rates for such work. We will estimate the costs to get to you to particular points in your claim.

  1. Crowdfunding

We have partnered with CrowdJustice, a leading crowdfunding platform specifically designed to help clients get access to funding for their case. Find 0ut more about Crowdfunding for legal cases.

Taking action when you are concerned that you are being discriminated at work might result in:

  • The payment or award of compensation for the loss that you have suffered.
  • Changes to your working conditions, so that they are more pleasant and rewarding.
  • Changes in your workplace which might benefit other employees.

If you would like more information on claiming discrimination compensation, or you wish to discuss your situation, contact us today. If you require an in-depth consultation, we offer a detailed 2 hour consultation, which costs £280 incl. vat. There is no obligation to proceed further. You can book and pay for a consultation with an employment expert here.

Let us help you to claim the compensation you deserve.

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