Nobody deserves to face discrimination at work. It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees in relation to protected characteristics. Discrimination is more complex than hurtful words; a company policy can also be discriminatory. Every case of is discrimination is as unique as each workplace, however all discrimination claims must contain the following:
What does the Law say on discrimination claims?
To bring a claim, the discrimination should be in relation to an aspect of you; known as a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics are:
Direct discrimination is when you are treated differently, worse, and less favourably than someone else because of a protected characteristic. Less favourable treated means that you have been treated differently to someone who does not share the same protected characteristic as you. You will need to a compare your experience to other employees to show you have been treated differently.
Indirect discrimination occurs when a person discriminates against another, or a provision or practice is in place that disadvantages a certain group of people who share a protected characteristic. An example would be if an employer moved office to one with no disability access, this would indirectly discriminate against employees in wheelchairs or who had mobility difficulties.
Employees can receive injury to feelings compensation in cases where there has been discrimination in the workplace. The injury to feelings award intends to compensate for the suffering on the employee’s emotional wellbeing.
The Vento Bands provide an indication of how much compensation may be awarded to an employee. The Vento bands were established in the case of Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police , in which the Court of Appeal set clear guidelines for the amount of compensation to be awarded for injury to feelings.
The three Vento bands are as follows:
From 6 April 2021, the new Vento bands for injury to feelings are as follows:
A discrimination claim must be made within 3 months less one day from when the discrimination happened. If there is a series of events, the time limit will begin from the last event that has occurred. You will need to show a continuous series of events to evidence that your claim is within time. The ACAS process must be followed before a claim is submitted.
For example, if you were last discriminated on 2nd of January 2021, you would need to lodge your claim with ACAS before 1st April 2021. We can assist you in filing for ACAS Early conciliation and entering into negotiations with your employer.
Our lawyers can provide advice as to whether you have been discriminated because of a protected characteristic. We will determine whether the discrimination falls within a direct or indirect discrimination, while also establishing any necessary comparators for your claim.