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Discrimination claims have the potential to severely damage a business. Not only can a claim raised by an employee lead to lengthy and expensive litigation proceedings, but it can also result in irreparable reputational damage.
At Glanvilles, our team of specialist discrimination law solicitors provide specialist expertise in helping employers comply with discrimination laws, as well as advising on the process of handling complaints and Employment Tribunal proceedings. As well as having extensive legal knowledge on discrimination matters, our team also has a detailed level of commercial awareness of what we use to support businesses of all sizes and structures.
If your business does not have its own dedicated HR professionals, our employment solicitors are more than happy to fulfil this role for you, advising on various matters such as liaising with Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), negotiating Settlement Agreements (also known as Compromise Agreements), and defending Employment Tribunal or County Court claims.
With the benefit of our skills and experience with alternative dispute resolution, many discrimination issues can be resolved before it progresses to employment tribunal proceedings. Where proceedings are issued, we also have the experience to guide you through the process and strive to resolve the issue amicably wherever possible.
Our discrimination solicitors advise employers across all sectors and industries and of various business structures, including sole traders, partnerships and limited liability companies.
In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, it is illegal for an employer to treat an employee less favourably due to a specific characteristic. While we recognise that many employers do not realise that certain actions amount to discrimination, this is usually not a defence that will stand up.
Employers are required to be mindful of their obligations towards their employees, which means that failing to adhere to discrimination law could lead to potential claims.
Our discrimination solicitors can advise on a wide range of matters, including:
The Equality Act 2010 is very clear on what is considered to be a protected characteristic. According to this, it is illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of:
None of these protected characteristics hold any more weight than any others, and an employee may be able to complain about discrimination in relation to one or multiple protected characteristics.
Direct discrimination is where an employee reports that they are the direct recipient of unfavourable or unfair treatment. This will be a result of:
This is a form of discrimination where an employer implements procedures or policies which disadvantage certain employees. For example, indirect discrimination could include:
Harassment is considered to be unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic that makes an employee, or group of employees, feel offended or intimidated. Harassment does not need to have come from an employer, but a claim can still be made if an employer fails to prevent harassment by another employee.
Harassment could include:
Victimisation is where an employee is treated badly on the basis of a discrimination claim. For instance, they may be treated poorly because:
If an employee is considered to be disabled under the Equality Act 2010, an employer is legally obligated to make ‘reasonable’ adjustments to their working environment so that any disadvantage they may experience can be reduced or removed.
The definition is a disability is a physical or mental impairment that lasts (or is expected to last) for at least 12 months and has a substantial impact on an employee’s ability to undertake day-to-day activities.
There are a number of reasonable adjustments which could be made to support someone with a disability. These include, but are not limited to:
If you are aware of an employee’s disability, but you do not make reasonable adjustments to their working life, the employee may be able to make a claim for discrimination.
Our team can work alongside you to provide advice and guidance on making reasonable adjustments, including whether the adjustments are practical for your business, financially viable and ultimately effective. We also provide advice in relation to complaints and claims on the basis of failing to make reasonable adjustments.
Our employment lawyers have years of extensive experience helping businesses across a range of sectors handle discrimination matters. Our job is to stay on top of employment and discrimination laws so you can concentrate on running and growing your business with minimal risk of running into potential disputes that could undermine your operations and cause significant reputational damage.
Our team are committed to providing the highest quality of advice and customer service. When you work with us, you can expect:
Glanvilles are members of the Law Society Lexcel Accreditation Scheme for our recognised standards of legal practice management and client care.
We are independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).