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Discrimination at work

 

Unfortunately discrimination at work is still rife in Britain – even if it is out of sight, it is certainly not out of mind – and discrimination claims can be difficult to prove.

On the plus side, there is no minimum period of employment for you to be able to claim in the employment tribunal for discrimination. For example, you could claim after only being employed for one day.

If you want to find out quickly how much your discrimination claim could be worth, try our free Settlement Agreements Calculator.

Time Limits in discrimination claims

YOU ONLY HAVE THREE MONTHS TO ISSUE AN EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL CLAIM FOR DISCRIMINATION.

The clock starts ticking after the incident, or course of events, in question (unless you can show it was reasonable in all the circumstances to wait). If you miss the time limit, the Tribunal can reject your claim, unless they decide that it is “just and equitable” to accept it. So you need a jolly good reason for waiting so long.

For this reason your employer will be less likely to offer you a decent settlement agreement if you have waited too long. Employers will often try to string out any grievance procedure to take you over the 3 month time limit for issuing a claim! See our article explaining time limits in employment claims for more details.

 

Types of discrimination

There are several types of discrimination, under the Equality Act 2010 and under the old law:

  1. Race (including ethnic or national origin, nationality and colour)
  2. Religion or Belief
  3. Sex (including gender, sexual orientation, sexual reassignment)
  4. Age
  5. Disability (including any impairment which could affect you for over 12 months)
  6. Pregnancy (including maternity)
  7. Marital Status (including civil partnership)

 

Top 3 Tips on Discrimination

  1. Get witnesses
  2. Keep a diary
  3. Gather relevant statistics

 

Proving your discrimination claim

Discrimination claims can be difficult to prove as there is normally no written evidence and of course the perpetrators are likely to deny all knowledge. They can be the highest value claims however, because there is compensation available for injury to feelings.

If you have been put at a disadvantage because of one of the above types of discrimination, either directly or indirectly, then you may be able to make an employment tribunal claim. If you’ve been discriminated against at work, you should seek legal advice, because these types of claims are complicated, even for lawyers (and that includes judges!).

 

Discrimination claims – how much money should I get?

In discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal you can claim for

  • Injury to Feelings
  • Financial Loss
  • Personal Injury

The financial loss element is based on the same principles as for unfair dismissal, although it unlimited rather than being capped at around £80,000 which is the limit for normal unfair dismissal claim in the Tribunals.

Personal injury is based on the same principles as for say a car accident, although the kinds of injuries most common in employment matters are psychological injuries. Compensation is theoretically unlimited but in practice it’s tightly pegged to the type of injury caused. Obviously medical evidence is necessary here.

Injury to feelings is not claimable in unfair dismissal. Guidelines amounts of compensation were set out by the Court of Appeal in the ‘Vento’ case, and these guidelines has recently been adjusted upwards due to inflation in the ‘Da Bell’ case (accurate as at 09 November 2010) as follows:

Band 1: 600 – 6,000. [one off / isolated incident] – this is the most common award by far
Band 2: 6,000 – 18,000. [more serious discrimination]
Band 3: 18,000 – 30,000. [sustained campaign of the most serious discrimination]

The very large payouts which tend to be in the media are often due to financial loss whereby the discrimination meant that the individual could not work again. If, for example, you were earning 40k per year, and you are 60 years old, you might be able to claim 5 years salary totalling 200k, if you can show that you are unlikely to find another job. Or if the discrimination really set you back psychologically, and you have medical evidence to support this, you may be able to claim for years’ worth of compensation.

 

You might want to get a rough idea of the value of your case by filling in the Settlement Agreements Calculator. Also ,think about getting some representation. Read the testimonials from our past clients to see how others in your situation were helped on their journey.

If you want to discuss this or any other settlement agreement query by way of a free, no obligation initial consultation, email us on [email protected], call us 0800 533 5134 or 020 7717 5259 or click here to arrange a call at a convenient time.

 

 

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