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Discrimination

RedfernServices Employment

Discrimination covers disability, age, sex and race. The Equality Act 2010 brought together the various statutes that had been in existence for decades. The Act sought to adopt a single approach to each where appropriate.

The Act is concerned with discrimination and harassment in respect of the prescribed "protected characteristics”. There are various types of discrimination and other unlawful conduct set out in the Act that apply to most (and in some cases all) of the protected characteristics.

There can be direct and indirect discrimination claims. In relation to some discrimination claims, an employer who acts in an ostensibly discriminatory manner can avoid liability by showing that its actions were a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. This is known as "objective justification".

Discrimination claims are on the increase. This is for two main reasons:

  1. Because an employee does not need to meet a service duration threshold before being able to bring a claim. This is in contrast to an employee being able to bring a claim for termination of employment where a service duration threshold of 2 years is required to make such a claim. An employee can make a discrimination claim from day one of employment and even from before employment begins eg if the person considers they were unfairly treated in the interview process.
  2. Because a claim for discrimination has no limit on the amount of damages that can be recovered.

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