Equality Discrimination & Harassment Issues

Equality Discrimination & Harassment Issues – No employer can afford to ignore the issues raised in relation to equality discrimination & harassment.

An employer can be liable for the discriminatory acts of its employees so its important to have policies in place to ensure that in the event of a claim you can point to what you have done to prevent the acts complained of.

Discrimination Harassment and Bullying

It is unlawful to discriminate against people in relation to their employment. There are various grounds on which discrimination claims are based. These are discrimination on the grounds of sex, age, race, disability, sexual orientation, sexuality, religion or belief. We are experienced in advising on such claims.

Sex Discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits direct sex discrimination, indirect sex discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation in the workplace. It protects both job applicants and those “in employment” under a contract of employment, a contract of apprenticeship or a contract personally to do work.

Age Discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits direct age discrimination, indirect age discrimination and age harassment in the workplace. It also prohibits victimisation in the workplace against employees who have taken steps under the Act.

If one employee discriminates against or harasses another, the employer will also be liable unless it has taken reasonable steps to prevent such conduct from taking place. The employee who commits the discriminatory act may also be liable.

Race Discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and harassment in the workplace in respect of race (which includes colour, nationality, ethnic origins and national origins). It also prohibits victimisation against job applicants and employees who have taken steps under the legislation.

The Equality Act 2010 protects both job applicants and those “in employment” under a contract of employment, a contract of apprenticeship or a contract personally to do work.

Disability Discrimination

The Equality Act 2010, prohibits direct disability discrimination, indirect disability discrimination, discrimination arising from disability, disability harassment and victimisation in the workplace. It also puts employers under a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees and job applicants who are placed at a substantial disadvantage because of their disabilities.

The definition of “disabled”

A person (P) has a disability if P has a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.  Some conditions are automatically within the definition of disabled and these are:

  • Blindness, severe sight impairment, sight impairment and partial sightedness.
  • Severe disfigurements, with the exception of unremoved tattoos and piercings
  • Cancer, HIV infection and multiple sclerosis

The Equality Act 2010 protects a wide range of individuals within the field of employment, occupation and vocational training against disability discrimination, harassment and victimisation. It protects both job applicants and those “in employment” under a contract of employment, a contract of apprenticeship or a contract personally to do work

Discrimination because of sexual orientation, or sexuality

The Equality Act 2010 protects a wide range of individuals within the field of employment, occupation and vocational training against sexual orientation and sexuality discrimination, harassment and victimisation. It protects both job applicants and those “in employment” under a contract of employment, a contract of apprenticeship or a contract personally to do work.

If one employee discriminates against or harasses another, the employer will be liable unless it has taken reasonable steps to prevent such conduct from taking place. The offending employee may also be liable.

Disability because of religion or belief.

The Equality Act 2010 protects a wide range of individuals within the field of employment, occupation and vocational training against religion or belief discrimination, harassment and victimisation. It protects both job applicants and those “in employment” under a contract of employment, a contract of apprenticeship or a contract personally to do work

Definition of religion or belief

“Religion or belief” is defined as follows:

  • “Religion” means any religion, and a reference to religion includes a reference to a lack of religion.
  • “Belief” means any religious or philosophical belief and a reference to belief includes a reference to a lack of belief.

If one employee discriminates against or harasses another, the employer will also be liable unless it has taken reasonable steps to prevent such conduct from taking place. The employee who commits the discriminatory act may also be liable.

For further information please contact our Employment Law Team on 0800 088 6280 or enquiries@rotherasharp.co.uk