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2 Employment - updated version available December '16
11. What if I've been discriminated against?
Despite laws aimed at stamping it out, discrimination is still a common problem in the workplace. The main aim of the legislation is to prevent you being discriminated against because of your sex, (including if you are transgender), marital status, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief. The law protects part-time and fixed- term workers, as well as full-time employees, from unfair discrimination. Generally, it is also against the law to discriminate in the recruitment process.
At present there is no law that prohibits discrimination because of your age, but regulations on this are due to come into force in 2019.
For more information about discrimination, at work and elsewhere, there are three separate CLS Direct leaflets:
What counts as discrimination?
There is a different test in relation to discrimination because of your sex, marital status, sexual orientation or religion or belief. Indirect sex discrimination is when someone applies a 'provision, criterion or practice' which, although it applies equally to men and women, disadvantages either sex, and which the employer cannot justify as reasonable for their business. For example, it could be indirect sex discrimination if an employer says, without having a good reason for a height requirement, that they will employ only people over six feet tall, since fewer women than men are over six feet tall.
The Disability Discrimination Act does not yet distinguish between direct and indirect discrimination. However, regulations define what disability discrimination is, and when an employer can justify treating disabled employees less favourably than employees who are not disabled. There is more information about this on the Disability Rights Task Force website - see 'Further help' for the address.
What action can I take if I've been discriminated against?
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Ian Hunter, Head of the Employment Department, Bird & Bird, Solicitors.
The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.
Leaflet Version: January 2019
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CLS Legal Info Leaflets
12. I'm returning to work. Do all my benefits stop?
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