Discrimination, bullying and harassment

Discrimination and harassment

Facing a claim for discrimination, bullying or harassment can be a stressful experience for employers. It can waste a huge amount of valuable management time, disrupt the workforce and be costly if the allegation is proven in a tribunal

Discrimination in employment is covered by the Equality Act 2010, which defines protected characteristics and prohibited conduct. Protected characteristics include age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, marriage or civil partnership. Discrimination and failure to make adequate adjustments for disabled people constitute prohibited conduct.

What is harassment?

Examples of harassment include:

  • racist or homophobic comments
  • the spreading of malicious rumours
  • unwelcome sexual advances or comments
  • criticism or humiliating behaviour towards an employee
  • offensive emails or social media posts
  • threats and abuse
  • bullying in the workplace.

An employee can bring a claim before an employment tribunal if they can show evidence that they have been subject to discrimination or harassment.

How can we help?

We can reduce the risks to your company by:

  • ensuring that there are robust policies in place covering discrimination and harassment, (for example, an anti-harassment policy)
  • ensuring that there is a clearly defined complaints procedure.
  • ensuring that performance reviews do not discriminate, (for example, by age)
  • advising you on the best course of action should an employee bring a claim at an employment tribunal.

We can act either on a “pay as you go basis” or a fixed fee retainer basis under our Bulldog HR scheme.

Case Studies

Recently we successfully defended an employer at an employment tribunal against claims of sex discrimination and constructive dismissal based on pregnancy by a lady who was to have her job description changed (for legitimate business reasons) on return to work following maternity leave.

The managers who followed our advice as to the implementation and tactics to be used were praised for following procedures correctly which we had advised upon, the employment Judge remarking in one part of the Judgment “The MD followed procedure on Mr Crilly’s advice…..she had had no experience of conducting grievance appeals before and there was no evidence that she heard the appeal for a discriminatory motive to influence the outcome”.

What Next?

If you think your business may need a robust legal solution for an employment or commercial situation, pick up the ‘dog and bone’ and call now on 0203 137 55 65 or contact us to arrange a free initial ‘no nonsense’ telephone assessment call with our pedigree solicitor. You can also click here to download our free special guide for business owners: “The 7 potholes of employment law and how to steer safely round them”.