Michael Lewin Solicitors are expert lawyers in Employment and Stress at Work Claims.
We specialise in acting for clients under No Win, No Fee Agreements and are Members of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel. We offer expert advice on all potential claims you may have against your employer, in both the Employment Tribunal and Civil Courts.
We will conduct an initial assessment of your claim for free and act for the vast majority of our clients under the terms of a no win, no fee agreement. Call us now on 0113 200 9787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a claim.
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Compensation claims for discrimination at work are subject to very specific criteria and strict time limits that must be adhered to, which is why it is vital that you instruct a firm of Solicitors who understand these issues and can advise you about your options and the causes of action available to you. The law relating to discrimination can often be misunderstood. It is contained within the Equality Act 2010, and we have provided guidance on the legal issues surrounding such claims at the end of this page.
In brief, however, in order to have a claim for workplace discrimination compensation, you must show that you have been treated less favourably than others because of a ‘protected characteristic’. There are nine ‘protected characteristics’:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage or civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual Orientation
OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE IN EMPLOYMENT LAW
It is often mistakenly believed that any unfair, or less favourable, treatment towards an employee is discrimination. However, unless the treatment is carried out because of a protected characteristic, then this would not be the case. If less favourable treatment is not sufficient to amount to discrimination, it may give rise to a claim for bullying and harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
If you succeed in pursuing a compensation claim for workplace discrimination against your employer, the Employment Tribunal can award uncapped damages based on the following heads of loss:
- Injury to Feelings
- Personal Injuries (if an employer’s conduct results in an employee suffering an injury, such as stress)
- Past and Future Loss of Earnings, including notice pay and holiday pay (if the less favourable treatment is the employee’s dismissal)
- Loss of Bonus or Commissions
- The cost of obtaining psychiatric or medical treatment
- Pension Loss
- Any other losses suffered as a consequential of the discriminatory acts
It is important to note that strict time limits apply to claims for discrimination, and any claim must be pursued within three months (less one day) of the date of the earliest discriminatory act. As a claim for discrimination should be pursued in the Employment Tribunal, it must initially be registered with ACAS under the Early Conciliation scheme.
Michael Lewin Solicitors are able to assist you in preparing and negotiating your claim from the outset. Michael Lewin Solicitors are experts in Employment Tribunal compensation claims. We act for the vast majority of our clients under the terms of a No Win, No Fee Agreement (often referred to as a Damages-based Agreement) with the added benefit that we are able to offer insurance products to cover the cost of paying Employment Tribunal fees in the event that a claim is not successful.
Call us now on 0113 200 9787 to speak to our dedicated employment team.
Workplace Discrimination Claims: The Law
There are nine protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010:
- ‘Age’ – having reference to a particular age, or age range;
- ‘Disability’ – a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities;
- ‘Gender reassignment’ – relates to a person who is intending to, is in the process of, or has completed the process of changing sex;
- ‘Marriage or civil partnership’ – this is self explanatory;
- ‘Pregnancy and maternity’ – relating to a person’s pregnancy or maternity leave;
- ‘Race’ – includes reference to a person’s ethnicity, colour or nationality.
- ‘Religion’ – refers to any religion (including lack of a religion), and ‘belief’ – any religious or philosophical belief;
- ‘Sex’ – relates to a person’s sex;
- ‘Sexual orientation’ – relates to a person’s sexual orientation
Direct discrimination is where a person is subjected to less favourable treatment, when compared to others, because of a protected characteristic. Examples of direct discrimination can include inappropriate comments or remarks, but relates to any form of treatment which is less favourable because of a protected characteristic.
Indirect discrimination can be more subtle and, under s.19 of the Equality Act 2010, is the implementation by an employer of a provision, criterion or practice which is discriminatory in relation to a person’s relevant protected characteristic. This may include certain policies or procedures implemented by employers which, whilst not deliberately discriminatory, are indirectly discriminatory if certain employees with a certain protected characteristics are disadvantaged as a result.
Duty To Make Reasonable Adjustments
In certain circumstances, if a person’s disability places them at a disadvantage in the workplace, employers have specific obligations to make reasonable adjustments to an individual’s employment to accommodate their disability in order to remove the disadvantage. What amounts to a ‘reasonable adjustment’ will differ from case to case, and will often depend on the size and resources or the employer.
Harassment under s.26 of the Equality Act 2010, is where a person pursues a course of unwanted conduct against another person because of a protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating that person’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person. Claims under the Equality Act 2010 have very short time limits and, ordinarily, any claim must be registered under the Early Conciliation scheme with ACAS within three months (less one day) of the earliest act of discrimination, otherwise the claim may be out of time. As with many types of claim, it is important to collate evidence at an early stage, and to ensure that you put your claim forward in a robust manner to maximise the possibility of early settlement.