Our team of expert employment law solicitors is well versed in identifying and dealing with issues of discrimination at work.
Discrimination law under the Equality Act 2010 is a complex area. We will be able to help you understand any particular claims that may be relevant to your situation and advise you on your options and the best way to proceed given the circumstances of your case. It may be that you wish to raise a grievance. We understand that your situation may be causing a great deal of stress or concern and will sympathetically advise and assist you so that you can present your grievance in the most effective manner.
We will be able to provide comprehensive and clear advice to you on the types of discrimination which may be relevant to your case. For example, direct or indirect discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation. We can advise you on how best to approach the situation.
Under the Equality Act 2010, there are many strands of discrimination and each type of discrimination needs to be linked to a “protected characteristic” for it to be unlawful and therefore something that could give rise to a claim. The protected characteristics are:
- Sexual Orientation
- Marriage/Civil Partnership
- Gender Reassignment
If you believe you have been discriminated because of one of these characteristics then you should take legal advice.
Often, the benefit of being able to claim discrimination is that there is potentially no cap in any compensation, whereas, claims for unfair dismissal are capped at £86,444, or 52 weeks gross salary- whichever is the lower. This is in addition to the basic award which can be ordered by the Tribunal of up to a maximum of £15,750. (These figures are from 6th April 2019). Further, with claims of discrimination you are entitled to claim “injury to feeling”, which may involve you receiving substantial compensation if it can be shown that you have suffered unlawful discrimination.
If you believe you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination you are entitled to pursue a claim before an Employment Tribunal. That claim could be pursued against your employer but also, where there is an individual perpetrator of discriminatory treatment (for example, as in an harassment case), against the individual perpetrator. For any such claim you will need to specify each and every alleged “act” of discrimination and this can often be very difficult without an intricate knowledge of the Equality Act and how it applies.
If you bring an Employment Tribunal claim for discrimination then we can represent you at all stages of the litigation to ensure your case is expertly and robustly pursued.
More from the Downs Blog
19 February 2021. The UK Supreme Court has issued its judgment in the highly anticipated case of Uber BV v Aslam, in which the key issue was the employment status of Uber drivers. The ruling reinforced the findings of earlier legal challenges (most recently the Court of Appeal in 2018), which found that Uber drivers are workers and not self-employed.
Recent news reports indicate that some employers are considering making it compulsory for their staff to have a Covid vaccination. Is this a lawful, or even sensible, move by employers?
The WHO defines good mental health as: “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stress of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
In April of each year, the Government increases statutory payments that are payable to workers and employees.
Under new government guidance, you should work from home if you can effectively do so. However, some employers may ask their employees to return to work whilst restrictions are in place - particularly if it is not reasonable to carry out that work at home. For those who are concerned about health problems, or juggling childcare, where do you stand in the eyes of the law?
The third lockdown in England legally came into force on 6 January 2021. How long it will last is uncertain. At least until mid-February and possibly until late March. Vaccination provides a route out of the pandemic, but businesses need to survive this final and possibly longest of the lockdowns.
During these uncertain times, it is good to know you can count on us.
Even after the recent Government announcement of another national lockdown we remain open for business and are here to help you.
On Thursday 5 November 2020, the Chancellor announced that the furlough scheme is to be extended until the end of March 2021. During this period you will be able to claim up to 80% of an Employees salary up to a cap of £2500.
The Chancellor announced over the weekend that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) that was due to end on 31st October will be extended until 2nd December. The level of support available under the extended scheme will mirror that of what was available under the CJRS in August, with the Government paying 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500.
The Chancellor announced on Thursday 22 October that the Government contribution to employers’ wage costs under the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be increased. Employers will be expected to pay 5% of the cost of unworked hours instead of the 33% originally announced.
Back in the summer the Chancellor announced that employers could receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who had previously been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme provided they remained continuously employed to the end of January 2021. Businesses will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus from 15 February 2021 and the Government has stated that further guidance will be provided by the end of January 2021.
With new government guidance on Covid coming into force today and the current furlough scheme coming to an end next month, as expected, the Chancellor has today announced a new scheme to help businesses.
As Covid-19 cases continue to climb, the UK faces ever tougher restrictions. But, with the furlough scheme winding down, what rights do employers and employees have when returning to work?
Barclays Bank has withdrawn a system that monitored employees’ computers, tracking individual working patterns and how much time each day was spent on breaks. Details of the pilot project came to light after a Barclays whistle blower reported it to a newspaper.
From 6 April 2020 there will be changes to the minimum written terms that must be provided to employees AND the timing of when these terms must be provided to them. These terms are known as Section 1 statements, referring to Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA).
Downs Solicitors is pleased to play a small part in helping to raise awareness of a new and important piece of employment law that is coming into force in April 2020. The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations will be known as Jack’s Law. This is in memory of Jack Herd who died in 2010 and whose mother, Lucy, has campaigned tirelessly ever since for mandatory leave for grieving parents.
One of the big focuses in recent years has been on flexible working and how it has changed the concept of a “normal” working day. From challenging the norms of 9-5 working to commuting time counting as working time, there’s no doubt that the new decade could bring a new shape of working – but what does that mean for business leaders and their HR teams?
Jordi Casamitjana was dismissed in 2018 by The League Against Cruel sports for gross misconduct. Mr Casamitjana, an ethical vegan, claims that his dismissal came after telling colleagues that their employer’s pension fund was being invested in companies involved in animal testing. His solicitors claimed that the decision to dismiss was made because of his beliefs around ethical veganism.
Improving the conversation about the menopause at work is important for both workers and employers. For the worker experiencing symptoms, the onset of the menopause can be a challenging time and one that is a sensitive and personal matter. For an employer, menopause is a health and well-being concern for their workers and one that needs managing sensitively.
Whilst many see flexible working as an opportunity to juggle a work life balance more successfully, a lot of work needs to be done around overall wellbeing for the employee – and ways in which the employer can help facilitate that.
According to recent news, the average self-employed worker faces working until they are 79 to secure a big enough pension pot to support them in later life.
No sooner have we published a blog about British Airways’ largest GDPR fine on record, we find another story in the news.
British Airways (BA) looks set to face the largest GDPR penalty by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of £183m for last year’s data breach that put 500,000 customers’ details at risk.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), stress, depression and anxiety were the main factors for time off work in 2017/18, equating to 15.4 million working days lost.
This week, 13 - 19 May 2019, is Mental Health Awareness Week. So, what better time to talk about mental health within the workplace.
Self-employment is on the rise with more people “going it alone” than ever before. With a rise in easy-to-use, on the go technology more accessible, it’s hardly surprising that more people are opting for self-employment to cater to more adaptive lifestyles. But, what sort of impact is it having in the wider professional environment?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is nearly one year old, having come into effect on May 25th 2018. Many businesses in the UK and abroad have made amendments to elements of their practices to ensure GDPR compliance. As with any substantial change, there has been a steep learning curve and inevitable growing pains. With the one year mark fast approaching it seems an appropriate time to look at the impact and success, if any, of GDPR.
Shared parental leave was introduced in 2015 as a way of redressing the balance between maternity and paternity leave. The purpose was to allow mothers to transfer all or part of their maternity leave to the father, allowing them to return to work.
Each April, the Government may amend employment regulations and set new deadlines for Companies to meet. The following are deadlines and updates which Managers and HR professionals should be aware of:
As if Ms Dolly Parton’s appearance at the recent Grammy Awards wasn’t enough, her new Netflix series beginning in 2019 will soon have reminisces tapping their feet to some of her major hit records. Perhaps working “9-5” is one that resonates most – and what a way to make a living indeed. Since writing her hit, the workplace has changed considerably and it is interesting to see how employers and employees alike are adapting to that change.
It’s been nearly 12 months since the first companies began publishing information about their gender pay gap. One year on, it looks as though we have still quite a way to go as the newest round of pay gap snapshots hit the headlines with Britain having the largest gap between the sexes in the European Union.
Valentine’s Day has gone for another year, but it got us thinking about the consequences of romance in the workplace, for both employees and employer.
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25 May this year. It, together with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), replaced existing laws in the UK relating to data protection and became an obligatory requirement across the whole of the European Union. Even though this had been bubbling away in the news for several months, there were concerns that businesses remained relatively in the dark about what they had to do. In the end, the majority of cases saw a last-minute scramble to implement the new regulation – and it appears to be still on-going.
To follow up on a couple of recent news stories relating to flexible work, for employers thinking of adopting change, you will also need to know how to effectively manage a more flexible workforce.
It seems the debate about “working hours” rages on. We recently wrote a blog about how working hours have changed and that people are moving towards much more flexible models.
Despite Dolly Parton's smash hit, it seems that just 6% of working people are sticking to the traditional 9-5 shift pattern, according to a recent survey by YouGov.