Discrimination for Employers
Receiving a claim for discrimination from a prospective, current or ex-employee can be deeply concerning, especially if there is no basis for such action or it results from a genuine misunderstanding.
Not only can such claims be time-consuming, employers facing a discrimination claim may be concerned about the potential impact on their reputation, both personally and organisationally.
At Askews Legal, our employment law team have the expertise and experience to handle any claim for discrimination against your organisation. We can take the claim from your shoulders, allowing you to focus on your core role, confident in the knowledge that the matter is in the best possible hands. Where possible, we will use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation, negotiation, or arbitration to bring the matter to a close with the minimum of impact for all concerned. Our Employment Law Solicitors have been recognised in the Legal 500 and have a robust reputation for providing guidance on handling discrimination law matters to businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Askews Legal is a diverse, multi-lingual law firm that uses best-in-class technology to provide clients with streamlined, modern, and highly effective employment law advice and representation. Our years of experience in employment law means we have a robust reputation for excellence with the UK’s best Barristers and Queen’s Counsel, Accountants and Counsellors who can bring additional support to our employment law department if required. Our clients also benefit from our ability to instruct the country’s most respected expert witnesses.
Below are some of the most common questions employers have concerning discrimination.
What are protected characteristics?
According to the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of any one of nine protected characteristics:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
This means that you must not treat one member of staff differently from another due to one of these protected characteristics. For example, it is unlawful to decline to interview a candidate who is over a certain age on the basis that you believe your clients would prefer to deal with a young person. It is important that employers do not make assumptions about a person’s ability to perform a role because of a protected characteristic.
Do I have a legal duty to make changes to accommodate a person with a disability?
The Equality Act 2010 requires that employers have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities where their disability places them at a substantial disadvantage compared with non-disabled people or people who do not share the same disability. This includes both existing employees and prospective job candidates. It is important that employers understand the boundaries of this requirement as it is only required to do what is reasonable. Whether it is reasonable depends on a range of factors. If you are unsure about the extent of your legal duty in this area, our employment law team can assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.
Can I ask a job candidate about their health or disability?
The law states that except in limited situations, it is not permitted to ask a candidate about their health or any disability until:
- they have been offered a job (conditionally or unconditionally), or
- they have been included in a pool of successful candidates to be offered a job when a vacancy becomes available
For this reason, it is important not to ask questions of this nature, whether during an interview, in the form of a health questionnaire, or by referral to a third-party health practitioner. The aim of this rule is to ensure that all candidates are assessed for their ability to perform the role and not passed over due to their health or a disability.
Am I responsible for the discriminatory actions of an employee?
Yes, if a member of your staff is found to have discriminated against another person, you can be held legally responsible for those actions. For this reason, it is recommended to provide new employees with training on equality and diversity law and state your expectations of their behaviour. It is also important to document the standards of behaviour expected in the form of an Equality and Diversity Policy and ensure this is consistently enforced across the organisation.
Why choose us?
One of the key elements of business success is having a positive and productive team of people that are motivated to ensure the business meets its growth objectives. Our Solicitors are businesspeople themselves; therefore, understand that every decision you make must encompass commercial reality. We receive most of our instructions via word of mouth recommendations because employers in Coventry and Warwickshire are confident that we have the knowledge and dedication they need to protect their best interests.
We are focused on results and achieving them in the swiftest, most cost-effective way possible. Our Employment Law Solicitors will take care of your legal concerns so you can concentrate on your organisation’s future.
To talk to us about discrimination law, please contact us using the form below.
Meet your 'Discrimination for Employers' specialists
The team to guide you through your legal needs.
Depending upon the complexity we are able to offer fixed fees in some cases. In other cases our solicitors charge the following hourly rate:
- Partner/Member SolicitorHourly rate of £250 + VAT
- Senior Solicitor or Head of Dept: (PQE 8yr+)Hourly rate of £225 + VAT
- Assistant Solicitor/Fee Earner (PQE 3/7yr)Hourly rate of £200 + VAT
- Newly Qualified Fee Earner (PQE 1/3yr)Hourly rate of £170 + VAT
- Paralegals/TraineesHourly rate of £120 + VAT
- Support ParalegalsHourly rate of £100 + VAT