Discrimination laws are undoubtedly the most daunting area of employment law for many businesses. This is partly due to the complexity and breadth of the laws themselves – difficult legal concepts such as direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation, which are formulated around a wide range of protected characteristics.
Protected Characteristics, include: gender, pregnancy, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, marital or civil partner status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion and belief, disability and age.
There is also a further group of protection rights, which might also be classed as discrimination law, offering protection to part time workers, fixed term employees and agency workers.
It is not sufficient just for the company’s management to abide by these laws – there is also the possibility that an employer will be held liable for discriminatory acts committed by its staff towards each other. Employers will only have a defence to such conduct if they have taken reasonable steps to prevent it from occurring.
Equal Pay. Workers are entitled to receive the same pay as colleagues of the opposite sex who are engaged in equal work, i.e. work that is the same or broadly similar; work rated as equivalent; or work of equal value.
Over recent years, the public sector has faced high-value class actions on account of failing to rectify historic pay differences between genders. Following the introduction of Gender Pay Gap Reporting, it is likely that similar claims will follow in the private sector. Is your organisation doing enough to identify and eliminate unjustified pay disparity?
TJD Law can assist to reduce the risk of discrimination issues arising or escalating. Our services include:
- Implementing policies on Equal Opportunities and Bullying & Harassment
- Providing training on equality and discrimination issues
- Advice on dress codes and the justification for gender or religious discrimination
- Advice on the scope of reasonable adjustments for disabled employees
- Assistance in dealing with allegations of bullying, harassment or victimisation
- Advice on handling complaints and grievances about discriminatory conduct
- Evaluating the risk of an equal pay claim
- Gender Pay Gap Reporting
- Assessment, negotiation and resolution of disputes
We can also provide full support and representation if you do need to defend a discrimination claim at an Employment Tribunal.