Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination is an ugly word, and it names an unsavoury practice which is thankfully widely condemned and no longer tolerated.

Employment laws on discrimination exist to ensure that all people are judged in the workplace solely on the quality of their work, skills and ability, and that all individuals within the workplace are free from any sort of harassment or unfair treatment.

This applies to individuals who aren’t actually employees too – an employer cannot specify that they are only interested in hiring someone who is male, for example, without legitimate reasoning for this distinction.

Sadly, however, unlawful discrimination can still occur in the workplace. There are a number of employment acts in place to outlaw these occurrences, such as the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 and the Race Relations Act of 1976. You may find yourself discriminated against for any number of reasons, such as:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Race or colour
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy or Maternity leave
  • Gender reassignment
  • Nationality or ethnic background

This list is by no means exhaustive, and you could be discriminated against for other reasons too. For example, you may find yourself receiving unfair treatment because of your status as a part time employee, or due to your involvement in Trade Union activities.