Category Archives: Discrimination

How to deal with a complaint of sexual harassment by an employee

sexual harassment at work

Sexual harassment at work What is sexual harassment? Sexual Harassment is one of the most difficult situations a worker can face. The legal definition of Sexual Harassment is any ‘unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a worker, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating […]

Is Veganism capable of being protected under discrimination law?

The BBC reported early in December that a case is due to come before an Employment Tribunal next year where the Tribunal will be asked to decide whether or not veganism is protected under discrimination laws as a “philosophical belief”. Under the Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful to discriminate against someone in the workplace […]

Gender Equality in the Workplace: Still an issue?

Discrimination & Detrimental Treatment at Work I have recently been prompted to write this article about women in the workplace and the inequality that women face for a number of reasons including the fact that I have been instructed by several women in short succession who are clearly being treated to their detriment at work […]

Did calling an employee a “Fat, ginger pikey” amount to unlawful harassment?

This was the unusual question considered by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Evans v Xactly Corporation Ltd. The Law Harassment which is related to a “protected characteristic” is unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.  Relevant protected characteristics for the purposes of a harassment claim include age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex […]

Disability Discrimination and Ill Health Procedures

Was the poor handling of ill-health retirement discrimination? In a recent case decided by the Court of Appeal an employer’s handling of the ill-health retirement process was scrutinised and reviewed when the employee in question alleged disability discrimination. The case is Dunn v Secretary of State for Justice and Anor. The Law In accordance with […]

Philosophical Beliefs and Discrimination

Can an employee be discriminated against for a philosophical belief when that employee is the only person to hold that belief? In a recent case decided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (Gray v Mulberry Company (Design) Ltd ) the issue of philosophical beliefs was considered in a situation where the employee held a belief which […]

Disability Discrimination: Misconduct related to disability

Is it discriminatory to dismiss an employee if you do not know the misconduct is related to their disability? Yes, held the Court of Appeal in City of York Council v PJ Grosset, unless the unfavourable treatment can be justified. The Law Under the Equality Act 2010 there are four types of disability discrimination.  This […]

Shared Parental Leave and Direct Sex Discrimination

Is an employer obliged to pay enhanced pay for shared parental leave? In June 2017, we reported on the Podcast about an Employment Tribunal case where a male employee, Mr Ali, successfully claimed direct sex discrimination when his employer refused to pay him enhanced shared parental leave pay. You can listen here. Mr Ali’s employer appealed […]

Expectation to work long hours gave rise to duty to make reasonable adjustments

In the case of United First Partners Research v Carreras [2018] an expectation that an employee would work long hours was found to be a provision, criterion or practice for the purposes of bringing a disability discrimination claim for failure to make reasonable adjustments. The Law The Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010) imposes a duty […]

Is it direct discrimination to reject a job applicant based on a perception their condition may become a disability?

Discrimination in Recruitment Yes, according to the case of The Chief Constable of Norfolk v. Coffey [2017] UKEAT, where the Norfolk Constabulary was found to have directly discriminated against a non-disabled job applicant by not offering her a job because they perceived her condition could become a disability in the future. The Law Under the […]

Discrimination: Are the motives of others relevant?

What happens when someone influences a decision maker in a discriminatory way? In the recent case of the Metropolitan Police Force v Denby, the Employment Appeal Tribunal had to consider whether someone who influenced a decision maker in a discriminatory way could be regarded as a joint decision maker. The Law The Equality Act 2010 […]

Breastfeeding & sex discrimination

Failing to carry out an appropriate risk assessment for a breastfeeding employee can be sex discrimination In the recent case of Otero Ramos v Servicio Galego de Saude, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) had to decide whether a defective risk assessment carried out for a breastfeeding employee can give rise to an inference of […]

Segregation of sexes in mixed school is direct discrimination

Keeping male and female pupils separate in education is contrary to the Equality Act 2010 A recent case in the Court of Appeal has made waves in the education sector.  As a result of the decision in HMCI v. The Interim Executive Board of Al-Hijrah School [2017], segregation of the sexes in co-educational schools will […]

Height requirement for Greek Police is indirect discrimination

A requirement that police officers be a minimum height is contrary to the Equality Act 2010 Did a requirement that police officers must be of a minimum height indirectly discriminate against women?  This was the question before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the recent case of Ypourgos Ethnikis Pedias kai Thriskevmaton v Kalliri.   […]

Compensation in Employment Tribunal cases

Does a 10% uplift apply to injury to feelings compensation?   This case concerned the question whether the 10% uplift that applies to general damages in all civil claims for pain and suffering also applies to claims in the Employment Tribunal for personal injury or injury to feelings. The Law If an employee wins a […]

Reasonable adjustments in the recruitment process

Is there a requirement to change the test format applied in the selection of new recruits? The Employment Appeal Tribunal have confirmed that there was no error in law in a decision by the Employment Tribunal that a job applicant with Asperger’s syndrome had been discriminated against in the recruitment process applied by the Government […]

Covert Surveillance by an Employer

Was covert surveillance harassment? In a recent case decided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal an employer’s behaviour in carrying out covert surveillance on an employee was considered in the context of the employee’s assertion that the reason for the surveillance was his disability. The Law Section 6 of the Equality Act 2010 states: (1) A […]

Dress Codes, High Heels & Discrimination at Work

Dress Codes, High Heels & Discrimination  Hot on the heels of several large scale marches that took place around the world in support of women’s rights comes the joint report of the House of Commons Petitions Committee and the Women and Equalities Committee, regarding high heels and workplace dress codes You may recall in the […]

Discrimination & Shared Parental Leave

Should men and women be paid the same when taking shared parental leave? The shared parental leave provisions were introduced in April 2015 and recently the first case on this issue has been decided by a Scottish Employment Tribunal. The outcome of this case is that the employer Network Rail have been ordered to pay […]

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