Treating someone less favourably. It’s unlawful to discriminate against an employee (or candidate) under any of the following protected characteristics:

  • Race, colour, nationality or ethnic origin
  • Sex
  • Disability (the employee’s or a dependant’s)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion or belief (or lack of belief)
  • Age
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity

Discrimination can include things like picking on an employee for supporting someone else in a claim (victimisation), operating practices that mean it’s harder for some groups of employees to comply than others (indirect discrimination), ignoring or, at the other end of the scale, pestering someone or making them the butt of all the office jokes so that a hostile working environment is created (bullying/harassment).   Claims can be against a company AND sometimes the individuals themselves.

Employees don’t need to leave (or ever have worked for the Company) to be able to bring a claim for discrimination, and compensation will include an amount for injury to feelings, so claims can prove expensive.    If an employer has a robust policy that is made known to the employees and properly enforced, there may be a complete defence to any claims, so, employers ­ when did you last review what you do about diversity and inclusion in the workplace? What about training?