Contents tagged with Discrimination
New research undertaken by ACAS, Supporting Trans Employees in the Workplace, published in August 2017, exposes that employers are failing in their efforts to understand the issues concerning their trans and intersex employees.
Whilst transphobia and discrimination are extensively reported, little research has previously been conducted into the experiences of trans or intersex employees in the UK, which has larger implications for both managers and employees in the workplace.
Legal obligations as an employer:
Gender Reassignment is one of nine protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 (EQA). The EQA provisions concerning gender reassignment discrimination, harassment and victimisation in the workplace protect a wide range of individuals during all stages … more
When writing this article, it would have been very easy for us to talk about ‘calendar girls’. When most of us think about risqué calendars in the workplace, we think about scantily clad women. But a browse through many of the calendar stores, most frequently filling the shopping centres each December, shows there are just as many male-equivalent calendars out there.
We’re sure such calendars will have never been a feature in some work places but, for some employers, it’s custom and practice to see such images displayed. Allowing such images to adorn the walls of your workplace is, undoubtedly, discriminatory but for those who are used to seeing such images, the thought probably never enters one’s mind. We therefore … more
The recent headlines in relation to the undisclosed settlement figure between Eva Carneiro and Jose Mourinho and Chelsea Football Club may have been unsettling for some business owners. The prime reason for the large settlement (excluding the issue of reputational damages) was the fact that Ms Carneiro brought claims for sex discrimination (being removed from the first team) and harassment (the use of derogatory language relating to her gender).
Currently compensatory awards for employees succeeding in an unfair dismissal claim are capped at the lower of, 12 months’ pay or £78,962. This brings some comfort to employers who employ high earners. The position is different for discrimination claims where awards are uncapped and, can lead to the demise of a company. … more
Over the last few weeks, a few stories have hit the headlines which have, naturally, sparked the interest of many. These relate to the dress code and appearance requirements of some employers which are potentially discriminatory. Here I take a look at the reported stories and offer insight into why the requirements are potentially discriminatory.
The first of the stories to hit the headlines was that of Nicola Thorp who was sent home by a firm for refusing to wear high heels at work. On her first day as a receptionist, she objected to being required to wear high heels as she would spend the majority of the day on her feet. Ms Thorp was told to either go and purchase some heels or be sent home without pay.
So, it is legal to require staff to wear … more
The 2016 Budget confirmed the Government would introduce the Sugar Tax, in a bid to reduce levels of childhood obesity within the UK. Taxes on ‘fatty foods’ have on the cards for some time but there were mixed reactions. Some thought the tax punished poorer families, some stated it didn’t go far enough, whilst others praised the idea that the money raised from the tax would go to fund school sports.
At the present time, discrimination on the grounds of obesity is not a “Protected Characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010. However, with concerns over the levels of childhood obesity and Public Health England predicting obesity will affect more than 50% of adults by 2050, should it be? There is in fact suggestions that obesity, even … more
In the news last week, a former Specsavers employee won her claim of disability discrimination in the Employment Tribunal after her manager told her to “pull yourself together”. As an employment law solicitor, I often cringe when I hear stories of “what the boss said” or about ‘so-called’ banter in the workplace. This case proves just how easy it is to say the wrong thing or make a naïve comment which lands an employer in court.
In Wickers v Colchester Visionplus Ltd t/a Specsavers Opticians, Ms Wickers had already been on her employer’s radar having received both formal and informal warnings for a dispensing error, lateness and failing to follow the Company’s sickness absence reporting procedure. Ms Wickers later … more
Discrimination is a complex and sensitive area of the law as set out in the Equality Act 2010 (EQA). It covers all areas of employment including job advertisements, the recruitment process, terms and conditions of work, conduct during employment and even at ‘work do’s’. The EQA also covers dismissals and work-related matters arising after employment has ended, for example giving references.
Employers usually bear the brunt of its employee’s discriminatory actions which can end up costing their business a fortune as a result of litigation. To make matters worse for employers, the amount of compensation that a claimant can receive if their claim is successful in the Employment Tribunal (ET) has no limit. For this reason it is far better to avoid giving rise to a … more
Last week saw the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issue new guidance on advertisements and, in the same week, a marketing firm posted a job advert seeking dyslexic applicants, stating the firm required “people with a unique mind”. The EHRC has yet to comment on whether it views the advert as discriminatory but it serves as a timely reminder that companies should carefully consider the wording of job adverts before hitting ‘send’ and sending it off into the ether.
Job adverts have, for some time, resulted in employers being brought before the Employment Tribunal by potential job applicants for unwittingly including discriminatory language when recruiting. Here we take a brief look at the law relating to advertising, remind you of some wording … more
As we count down to the New Year, let’s remind ourselves of 2015’s key judgments. They include cases on: whistleblowing, working time, annual leave during sickness absence, holiday pay, disability discrimination, redundancy consultations, recruitment, and the role of HR in disciplinary proceedings.
1. HR’s role in disciplinary proceedings
In Ramphal v Department for Transport it was held by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that a dismissal will be unfair if the decision to dismiss an employee is improperly influenced by HR. Thus, HR should refrain from lobbying managers to reshape their view on culpability and limit their advice essentially to questions of law, and procedures and processes.
2. Right to be accompanied: a new type of claim?
It was held by the … more
Tis the season to be merry and let your hair down, however to ensure that you do so without exposing your business to tribunal proceedings, follow our top ten tips:
1. Policy on workplace social events
As a matter of good practice, you should ensure you have a policy relating to conduct on work related social events. This would assist in the event that you (a) need to take any disciplinary action and/or (b) need to investigate any discrimination allegations.
2. Communicate policies relating to conduct
• Ensure managers review and understand any policies relating to Christmas parties or work related social events.
• You should also consider issuing a statement to employees reminding them of conduct expected during any work related parties.
3. Take any … more