Any organisation carrying out a public function and/or a service provider under the terms of the Equality Act 2010 needs to be aware of how to deal with complaints of discrimination raised by service users. Following the recent introduction of the...
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 means that existing of former employees and workers can bring discrimination claims against their employers on a variety of different grounds, namely age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. These grounds are known in law as protected characteristics. Claims can be raised due to the actions and/or omissions of employee's and therefore can be raised regardless of whether or not the discriminatory behaviour was conducted with the employer’s knowledge or approval.
Employees who feel they have valid discrimination claims may choose to take their employer to an employment tribunal. They must generally do so within three months less one day from the date of the act of discrimination or if there are a number of instances of discrimination, within three months less one day from the date of the last act of discrimination. If successful, they may be awarded compensation, which could cover loss of earnings and award for injury to feelings or health. Compensation awards for discrimination claims are unlimited, so employers who lose discrimination claims can often face a heavy financial penalty, depending on the severity of the alleged discriminatory behaviour or conduct.