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North Wales Discrimination Solicitors

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

North Wales Discrimination Solicitors

When do you need a solicitor for a discrimination case?

Workplace discrimination cases can be highly complex. It is essential that you seek legal advice and representation as soon as possible if you are concerned about your treatment at work and believe you are being unfairly discriminated against. Any claim for Discrimination in the workplace MUST be brought within 3 months of the Discrimination (all may not be lost if outside 3 months in certain situations) so do not delay contact Winrow Solicitors today and speak to one of our Discrimination experts.

Winrow Solicitors can represent you in court  and Employment Tribunal with Discrimination claims.

Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination of any kind is not to be tolerated in our society.

When it occurs in the workplace it can be a particularly unpleasant experience for the one that suffers such treatment.

Our work often defines who we are, we spend much of our waking life at work and if because of discriminatory treatment we begin to loathe going into work, life can quickly become intolerable.

If you feel you have been discriminated against at work and unfairly treated then come and speak to us, don’t suffer in silence. We will assess your situation sensitively and offer advice as to how you can deal with the situation.

Workplace discrimination is covered by the Equality Act 2010 to protect you if you have one of the ‘protected characteristics’ from unfair treatment. Workplace discrimination comes in many forms and can often be classed as harassment or victimisation due to a protected characteristic.

What are the different protected characteristics?

Age

Disability

Pregnancy and Maternity

Race

Marriage and Civil Partnership

Religious or belief

Sex / Gender

Sexual orientation

Gender Reassignment

A more detailed description of Each Protected Characteristic scroll down to see a more detailed description.

Age

It is unlawful discrimination because of age to:

Discriminate directly against you - that is, to treat you less favourably than others because of your actual or perceived age, or because you associate with someone of a particular age, examples being:

decide not to employ you.

dismiss you

refuse to provide you with training

deny you promotion

give you adverse terms and conditions

compulsorily retire you

An employer might be able to defend a claim if their actions can be objectively justified.

Discriminate indirectly against you - that is, to apply a criterion, provision or practice (a work place rule that applies to everyone) which disadvantages people of a particular age unless it can be objectively justified.

Subject you to harassment related to age

Victimise you because you have made or intend to make a complaint or allegation or have given or intend to give evidence in relation to a complaint of discrimination because of age

 Age groups can be quite wide (for example, ‘people under 50’ or 'under 18s'). They can also be quite specific (for example, ‘people in their mid-40s’). Terms such as ‘young person’ and ‘youthful’ or ‘elderly’ and ‘pensioner’ can also indicate an age group.

Disability

Some people that have this protected characteristic do not realise it. They get on with life and don’t let their disability get in the way.

However, you will be considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if:-

You have a substantial physical or mental impairment, that is long- term and that has an adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day- to-day activities.

So, a physical impairment could be arthritis and a mental one depression.

For it to be deemed long-term, a rule of thumb description would be that the impairment has lasted over a year.

As to everyday activities, there is no definitive list but could include the inability to climb stairs or wash the dishes.

Every person’s situation is unique, and our simple descriptions are only a guideline, so if you are unsure whether you have a disability just contact us and we assess your individual case and advise accordingly.

Sex or Gender

You must not be discriminated against because:

you are (or are not) a particular sex

someone thinks you are the opposite sex (this is known as discrimination by perception)

you are connected to someone of a particular sex (this is known as discrimination by association)

In the Equality Act, sex can mean either male or female, or a group of people like men or boys, or women or girls.

Discrimination rules also extend to equal pay.  It is also unlawful for your employer to pay you less than a person of the opposite sex with similar experience and skills for doing either the same job or an equivalent role within the company.

Marriage and Civil Partnership

The Equality Act 2010 protects you from discrimination because you are married or in a civil partnership.

Marriage or civil partnership broadly covers you if:

You are married in a legally-recognised union – either an opposite-sex or same-sex couple.

You are in a civil partnership – a legally recognised and registered relationship between two people of the same sex only.

 The protected characteristic of marriage and civil partnership does not cover you if:

You are Cohabiting with another (you live with someone as a couple but are not married or registered civil partners.

If you are engaged to be married, intend to marry or enter into a civil partnership.

If you are divorced.

If your civil partnership has been dissolved.

Pregnancy and Maternity

Your employer will have discriminated against you if, during the ‘protected period’ of your pregnancy and statutory maternity leave, you are treated unfavourably because of your pregnancy or an illness resulting from it.

Also, if you are treated unfavourable because you exercise or seek to exercise your right to ordinary or additional maternity leave.

Your ‘protected period’, (when you have protection against discrimination) starts when you become pregnant and ends when your maternity leave ends or when you return to work, if this is earlier.

All employees have the right to take maternity leave.

There are two main types of pregnancy and maternity discrimination ; unfavourable treatment and victimisation.

Unfavourable treatment - You are protected against unfavourable treatment because of pregnancy or maternity. This means you as an employee or job applicant must not be disadvantaged because of your pregnancy or maternity. For example, you must not:

be subjected to unfair treatment because of pregnancy or maternity

suffer disadvantage because of pregnancy or maternity through the employer’s policies, procedures, rules or practices

suffer unwanted behaviour because of pregnancy or maternity.

Victimisation can also occur because an employee is suspected of doing one or more of these things, or because it is believed they may do so in the future.

Race

Accusations of racial discrimination have been hitting the headlines recently, both on the football pitch and off.

The Equality Act protects you against discrimination on the grounds of your race?

It would be unlawful for your employer to discriminate against you as an employee, job seeker or trainee because of your race –

This includes the different elements of colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin.

For example, this would include turning you down as the best applicant for a job because you are Asian and the employer feels you would not 'fit in' with the rest of the staff because they are all English.

The protected characteristic of Race may include different elements that often merge:

Race is an umbrella term for the other four aspects below

colour – examples include black and white.

ethnic origin – this usually refers to your ethnic group to which you belong.

 An ethnic group will usually have a long, shared history and its own cultural traditions which set it apart from other groups. It may also have a shared language, literature, religion and geographical origin, and may also be a minority or oppressed group. Examples of ethnic groups include Sikhs, Jews, Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers (some of which have their own religions)

 national origin – birthplace, the geographical area and its history can be key factors. Examples include Welsh and English. National origins can include origins from a nation that no longer exists. For example, Yugoslavia. Someone’s national origin is fixed at birth, but their children may have a different national origin if they are born in another country

nationality – usually the recognised state of which the employee is a citizen. In other words, what it says in their passport if they have one. For example, British citizen. This can differ from national origin.

Your race can be made up of two or more of the elements above.

For example, Black and British.

However, you may follow African Caribbean culture, customs and traditions, so regard yourself as British African Caribbean.

Your racial group could also be a mixture of colour and nationality. For example, Black South African.

Or, for example, you may have a Spanish name and have parents that were born in Spain but live in the UK as British citizens like him. They may also still follow Spanish customs. So your ethnic group might be British Spanish. This ‘sense of belonging’ can carry on through the generations.

Region or Belief:

The Equality Act 2010 protects you from discrimination, harassment and victimisation because of religion or belief

This characteristic mainly divides into two areas:

religion and religious belief, and

philosophical belief.

Religion and religious belief - A religion must have a clear structure and belief system. (a clearly-structured denomination or sect within a religion can also be covered).

If you don’t have a religious faith, you can be protected against discrimination. For example, someone who is not a Hindu would be protected against discrimination because they are not a Hindu.

So, religion means any religion and a reference to religion includes a reference to a lack of religion.

What makes up religious belief or practice may vary among people in that religion AND no one religion or branch of a religion overrides another – so you would be protected against discrimination by someone of another religion, or of the same religion or of a different branch or practice of their religion.

For example, it would be discriminatory for an employee to treat a colleague of the same religion unfairly because they regard them as less orthodox in their belief.

There is not a comprehensive list of religions, although the Equality Act explanatory notes give examples - the Baha’i faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Rastafarianism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.

Religious belief is an individual’s own faith and how it affects their life.

Philosophical belief:

Broadly speaking, a philosophical belief must be all the following:

genuinely held

not just an opinion or point-of-view based on current information

a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour

clear, logical, convincing, serious, important, and

worthy of respect in a democratic society, compatible with human dignity and not conflicting with the fundamental rights of others.

 It is broadly accepted that, for example, humanism, atheism and agnosticism are ‘beliefs’, but supporting a football team, being a member of a political party or loyalty to your native country are not.

Gender Reassignment

You will have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if you are proposing to undergo, are undergoing, or have undergone a process (or part of a process) of reassigning your sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex.

A reference to a transsexual person is a reference to a person who has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

Contact us to find out more or to arrange a consultation with an experienced discrimination solicitor in Caernarfon.

Call us for advice on 01286 872779 or send us a message

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