Discrimination across the nation
Discrimination happens when you are treated less favourably compared to others. In the workplace this applies to when an employer treats some workers differently to others.
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination within employment can be by different types such as direct discrimination. There also are a variety of forms of discrimination that can arise. These can include discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, age, sexual orientation, disability and religious beliefs just to name a few.
There are a number of laws in the UK that deal with discrimination and they make it illegal for someone to be discriminated against unfairly. These laws show how seriously the authorities have taken to tackling discrimination within and outside the working environment. Discrimination laws are there to make it fair for workers to be employed and promoted according to their skills, abilities and how they perform their job.
Examples of Discrimination
There may be circumstances where discrimination might not be obvious, to an employee or to an employer. There may also be times where discrimination law has been misunderstood.
Below is a list of types of discrimination that can arise within employment.
Gender /Gender Reassignment
Marriage or Civil Partnership
Pregnancy/Paternity and Maternity leave
Race/colour or Ethnic background
Religion, Belief or Non-belief
Also it is worth noting that your employer can not dismiss you or treat you less favourably than other workers because you work part time or are on a fixed-term contract.
However, it is acceptable for an employer to advertise certain jobs that may seem to discriminate at first glance. An example would be advertising for a female actor to play a female role. Another example is to advertise for an Italian waiter to work in an Italian restaurant. These types of examples do not breach any discrimination laws and are perfectly legal.
Types of Discrimination
Within the workplace there are a number of different types of discrimination. These are explained individually below.
Direct discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee less favourably. This can arise when someone is promoted ahead of someone because of one of the above reasons.
Indirect discrimination happens when a condition or rule disadvantages one group of people. An example of this would be a job advertisement that requires clean shaven applicants. This then discriminates against some members of religious groups. Indirect discrimination does not have to be on purpose, but it is still unlawful.
In the workplace everyone has the right not to be harassed or made fun of. The concept of harassment involves offensive or intimidating behaviour, sexual language or racial abuse, that has the aim of humiliating, undermine or injure its target, or to have that effect. This type of discrimination can mean the difference between a joke and really hurting someone’s feelings.
When victimisation takes place it means that some is treated less favourably because they tried or have made a complaint of discrimination. An example of this could be the refusal to attend a training course, unfair disciplinary actions or being left out of company social events.