Horizon will vigorously defend any infringement of your equal opportunities should you fail to receive equal treatment.
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Your rights apply to all aspects of your employment, including recruitment, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment. This obviously applies in the workplace, but also includes activities outside the workplace when dealing with customers, suppliers or other work-related contacts and on work-related trips or events including social events.
In relation to some discrimination claims, it can be possible for an employer who acts in a seemingly discriminatory manner to avoid liability if it can show that its actions were a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. This is known as “objective justification”. We would therefore need to see if they raise any such arguments and discuss these with you.
The law is very complex in this area and prohibits the following forms of discrimination:-
1. Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of a protected characteristic. For example, rejecting a job applicant because of their religious views or because they might be gay.
2. Indirect discrimination: a provision, criterion or practice that applies to everyone but adversely affects people with a particular protected characteristic more than others, and is cannot be justified. For example, requiring a job to be done full-time rather than part-time would adversely affect women because they generally have greater childcare commitments than men.
3. Harassment: this includes sexual harassment and other unwanted conduct relating to a protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
4. Victimisation: this has a very specific legal meaning which is that you suffer retaliation because you have complained of, or supported someone else’s complaint, about discrimination or harassment.
5. Instructing, causing, inducing and helping discrimination: this makes it unlawful for a person to instruct, cause or induce someone to discriminate against, harass or victimise another person, or to attempt to do so and provides a remedy for both the recipient of the instruction and the intended victim, whether or not the instruction is carried out, provided the recipient or intended victim suffers a detriment as a result.
6. Disability discrimination: this includes all of the types of discrimination set out above, but the protected characteristic of disability also includes any unjustified less favourable treatment arising from a disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments to alleviate the effects of any disadvantages caused by a disability.
If you are a part-time or fixed-term worker, you should also be treated the same as comparable full-time or permanent staff and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions (on a pro-rata basis where appropriate), unless the different treatment can be justified.
We can advise and support you on all of the family friendly benefits including maternity and adoption leave and pay, time off to attend antenatal and adoption appointments, paternity and parental leave, flexible working requests and time off for your dependants.
It is very important for you to keep a track of the chronology of events, including who said what, who else was present and where, so we strongly advise you to keep a detailed diary and bring this with you when we meet. This will be crucial evidence and can make all the difference to help us resolve your issue or claim successfully. Importantly, discrimination claims can be brought whilst you still remain employed, but it would be necessary to resign to also claim constructive dismissal, so speak to us sooner rather than later before you make any hasty decisions at work, as we can advise you on the best strategy and approach for your situation.
Don’t feel left out in the cold, get in touch with Horizon today !
Horizon Solicitors is a trading name of Horizon Solicitors Limited and is a company registered in England and Wales under Company Reg No. 11633910 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA No. 653837 Registered office: Eastlands Court Business Centre,
St Peter’s Road, Rugby,