Despite many employers taking steps to support their staff and create internal cultures that promote equality, workplace discrimination is a still problem, accounting for 20% of all Tribunal claims in the last year.
From inadequate company policies and procedures to personal differences and misunderstandings, the potential causes of discrimination can be complex – but the costs of inadequately addressing these important issues can be devastating, both financially and in terms of a business’ reputation.
Internal grievances can disrupt team morale and productivity, while claims and Tribunal processes can be distracting and expensive. By clearly defining your company policies and requirements and training your staff, you can help to foster a working environment that’s not only free from discrimination, but also minimises the risk of legal action against your business.
“The speed of their service levels combined with high quality advice always exceeds our expectations and as a result we have been a satisfied client of the firm for over 7 years. I would not hesitate to recommend Loch Employment Law to any business.”
Operations Director, Professional Services
What is discrimination?
The Equality Act 2010 protects nine characteristics from discrimination in the workplace. It is against the law to treat someone less favourably in relation to one or more of these characteristics, and failure to comply may result in discrimination claims. They are:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Race (including colour, nationality and ethnic origins)
- Religion or belief (or lack thereof)
- Sexual orientation
These protections also apply to individuals who have not been the direct subject of discrimination themselves, but have complained about the discriminatory treatment of another individual (or otherwise sought to defend their rights).
How Loch Employment Law can help
At Loch Employment Law, we believe that preventing discrimination in the first place is better for business than dealing with the consequences. However, we also understand that even with the best intentions, allegations of discrimination may still arise.
Whatever requirements you may have, our team of expert employment lawyers can work with you to provide a range of pragmatic solutions, including:
- Defining your discrimination strategy and requirements
- Writing discrimination policies & handbooks
- Investigating and managing allegations
- Diversity and inclusion training
- Defending employers at Tribunals
Loch Employment Law will work closely with you to help develop policies, training plans and guidance for your staff, ensuring that expectations surrounding equality and discrimination are not only understood, but implemented on a day-to-day basis. Along with setting out the standard of behaviour you expect from employees, this provides the foundation for successfully preventing or defending against a claim.
In situations where a member of staff is alleged to have discriminated against another employee, Loch Employment Law can investigate on your behalf, and give advice on the best strategy to help resolve the issue.
If there is evidence of discrimination, we will advise on the most appropriate course of action. Whether that’s coming to an amicable agreement, disciplining or dismissing the individual responsible for the discrimination, we will support you throughout the entire process.
Should a claim be taken to a tribunal, we can draw on our many years of experience to guide you through the process, ensuring that you have the best possible chance of defending your business.