The Equality Act 2010 sought to harmonise a range of discrimination legislation and brought in new laws too; it effectively says that some unfair treatment could actually be unlawful discrimination.
It can be as simple as direct discrimination – for example saying ‘no women’ (Direct Sex Discrimination) through to more complex indirect discrimination. This could be for example a requirement to be in work by 9am, which could be deemed to sexually discriminate against women, specifically mothers on the school run (Indirect Sex Discrimination).
There is actually a vast array of considerations when trying to avoid unlawful discrimination, which actually begins from your very first contact with a person, even before they are employed. And whereas an employee needs to have been with a company for two years before they can claim Unfair Dismissal, Discrimination Claims can be made from the first point of contact, even pre-employment.
Essentially the Equality Act 2010 set down a range of ‘Protected Characteristics’ which says is unfair treatment has anything to do with these then it becomes unlawful discrimination.
The Protected Characteristics:
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Marriage and civil partnerships
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
- Gender reassignment
The good news is that most companies will avoid unlawful discrimination simply by following good rules and procedures. However, with so many different areas to consider it can be helpful to have a team of employment law specialists to support your business through this minefield.
Caversham Solicitors is practiced in dealing with discrimination issues and often concerns can be dealt with simply with a telephone call to our Church Street office in Caversham – and we consider such calls just part of the inclusive service for our commercial clients.
As with all employment issues the sooner you contact Caversham Solicitors the better able we are to protect you and your business. So contact us today.