Discrimination at work claim solicitors
We have helped over 3,000 employees across England and Wales with their employment law claims and we can help you with your claim.
Discrimination in the workplace is against the law
You can claim for discrimination at work in the following ‘protected’ areas:
- age discrimination
- disability discrimination
- gender reassignment discrimination
- pregnancy or maternity discrimination
- racial discrimination
- religion or belief discrimination
- sexual discrimination
- sexual orientation discrimination
In these types of work discrimination cases the victim needs to prove that they have been a victim of discrimination if they have been treated less favourably because of their characteristic in the 'protected' areas.
Our Employment Law Solicitors do understand how difficult it can be to prove discrimination at work, and we are here to help you. We also appreciate how distressing and complex employment discrimination claims can be for claimants.
We only represent employees (not employers) and we always work to make the discrimination claims process as stress free as possible.
Your help made a big difference to my ability to stand my ground with my employers. Thank you. (Miss A., Hertfordshire)
Legal advice without jargon
A Co-op Legal Employment Law Solicitor can explain your situation to you without using legal jargon, and ensure that you understand each step as your discrimination case progresses.
Time limits for employment discrimination cases
There are strict time limits on employment discrimination cases so the earlier you start your claim, the more effective the process will be for you.
By law you must notify ACAS with details of your claim before it can be lodged at the Employment Tribunal. ACAS will then attempt conciliation with your employer. If the conciliation process is unsuccessful you will be issued with a certificate stating that conciliation has been attempted. Only then can your claim be progressed to the Employment Tribunal.
Fixed solicitor fees for employment discrimination cases
Once we have provided you with a written quote for the agreed work to be done, that price will not change unless the original information we are given is shown to be incorrect or circumstances change. There will be no nasty surprises.
If you are in the early stages of an employment discrimination dispute, you may want a Solicitor to write a grievance letter, and/or your appeal against a grievance outcome. The fixed fee for this service is £420 including VAT.
We also offer an investigation report where we review your documents and advise you on the prospects of your discrimination case succeeding. The fixed fee for an investigation report starts from £450 (including VAT), depending on the complexity of your case.
Do not suffer in silence. Discrimination at work is against the law and your case may help bring an end to unfair practices in the workplace.
What’s the difference between direct and indirect discrimination at work?
Direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably in the workplace because of a protected characteristic. Indirect discrimination occurs when a workplace policy or procedure applies to everybody, but it puts those who have a protected characteristic at a disadvantage.
When an individual is treated less favourably at work because of one (or more) of the protected characteristics listed above, this is direct discrimination. Examples of direct discrimination might include dismissal, refusal to employ someone, refusal to promote someone, or withholding benefits or training from them.
This could be in the form of a pregnant employee being denied a promotion because of her pregnancy, for example, or a disabled candidate being overlooked for a role because of their disability.
Interestingly, the individual in question does not necessarily have to have the protected characteristic in order to be the victim of direct discrimination. They could be treated less favourably because their family member, friend or associate has a protected characteristic - this is direct discrimination by association. Or they could be treated less favourably because they are perceived to have a certain protected characteristic, even if they don't - this is direct discrimination by perception.
If an employer has certain practices, procedures, rules or processes that put people with a protected characteristic at a disadvantage then this is indirect discrimination. The key difference here is that the employees who are at a disadvantage because of their protected characteristic are not being singled out by their employer, they are simply subject to the same rules as everyone else. However, because of their protected characteristic, the rules put them at a disadvantage compared with their co-workers.
Indirect discrimination can occur as a result of formal processes or as a result of one-off, informal arrangements, but the main factor is that the practices, procedures, rules or processes must apply to everyone in the same way. If a rule or policy only applies to some of the workforce based on their shared protected characteristic, then this could be direct discrimination, rather than indirect discrimination.
Any example of indirect discrimination could be a contract clause which applies to all employees saying that they could be required to work late or travel away from home for work at short notice. Although this applies to everyone in the same way, this could potentially put a young mother at a disadvantage, as she would need to make childcare arrangements. This could be seen to be indirect discrimination on the basis of her gender.
Another example of indirect discrimination could be insisting that all employees work on a certain date, which is a religious holiday. Although this rule applies to everyone, it disadvantages certain employees because of their religion while other employees who do not practice that religion will not be at a disadvantage.
Objective Justification for Indirect Discrimination In certain circumstances, indirect discrimination may not be unlawful if an employer can demonstrate that there is an 'objective justification' for the rule, process or procedure in question.
The employer will be required to show that the rule, process or procedure in question is necessary to achieve a certain aim, the benefits of which outweigh the discriminatory impact. They will also need to demonstrate that there would be no other way of achieving this same aim in a way that did not indirectly discriminate certain employees.
While costs and economic benefits to the business could be taken into consideration, cost alone is unlikely to be sufficient as a justification for indirect discrimination.
About Co-op Legal Services
Co-op Legal Services has over 600 staff working in different businesses with offices in Manchester, Bristol, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sheffield and London.
As part of the Co-op Group, our values of openness, honesty, social responsibility and caring for others are core to the service we provide.