Unlawful Discrimination


Employees are protected from any act of discrimination which is attributable to the following ‘protected characteristics :

  • Gender (including gender reassignment)
  • Race
  • Religious and Philosophical Belief
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Sexual Orientation

The protection extends from job advertisements and recruitment ,  through to terms and conditions of employment, employment practices and continues to include post termination obligations such as references.   The protection also includes harassment on the grounds of one of the protected characteristics.

As an employer you are potentially liable not only for any act of discrimination by the company but also any act of discrimination by an employee and, in some circumstances, by third parties including customers.

The penalties for unlawful discrimination can be harsh, because unlike penalties for unfair dismissal, there is no limit on compensation.

The law in this area continues to evolve through the decisions in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the higher courts. The result is that the potential for workplace behaviour to be regarded as unlawful discrimination has significantly increased.

The key to effectively dealing with an allegation of unlawful discrimination, whether raised formally or informally, is to respond positively and to fully investigate the claim. The matter should be dealt with in accordance with the company grievance procedure.

If you require advice on any aspect of discrimination please contact Emplex on 01753 583 222.


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