It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against staff, including self-employed contractors, or to permit such behaviour, if it is based on certain protected characteristics.
The various protected characteristics are:
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- Religion or belief
- Pregnancy or maternity leave
- Gender Reassignment
We provide advice on all the forms of discrimination and how to avoid successful claims against your business.
Unlawful discrimination can take various forms and may sometimes not be obvious. Lines can become blurred in some situations and the discrimination may be indirect or as a result of being by association. Examples of discriminatory behaviour includes:
- Name calling
- Offensive jokes or language
- Discriminatory practices or policies
- Unwelcome conduct
- Inappropriate interviews
- The exclusion of staff
We can help you reduce your liability and exposure to discrimination complaints by providing assistance to:
- Ensure you have clear policies and procedures in place
- Manage discrimination complaints
- Defend claims at Employment Tribunals
- Train your staff to prevent discrimination
Policy and procedures
We work with employers to ensure that they have the right policies and procedures in place to help prevent discrimination claims. For employers, an appropriate and well implemented equality and diversity policy is an essential tool in preventing discrimination within the workplace and related employment claims.
Managing discrimination complaints
Good management is required to implement and reinforce the policies and boundaries that are in place, and the culture that you want to foster. The correct use of disciplinary and grievance procedures are all important factors in achieving the right culture. We provide practical advice to employers on the best ways to implement these procedures and to manage their staff.
As a niche firm that specialises solely in employment law, our lawyers are experts at advising employers how best to defend discrimination claims brought by employees. We provide practical, and commercially focused advice, robustly defending such claims (when required) at all stages of the Tribunal process.
Productive training of staff is an essential tool for any business. Targeted training and development makes sound business sense. Employees who improve their skills get better results, feel more valued and engaged in their work and remain loyal. Equality and diversity training can enhance and supplement the overall ethos of a business and it can be effective in preventing discrimination occurring in the first place.