- Constructive Dismissal
- Unfair Dismissal
- Wages Law
- Equal Opportunities
- Maternity Leave
- Working Time Regulations
- Age Discrimination
- Sex Discrimination
- Race Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Whistle Blowers
Sex Discrimination Solicitors - Compensation Claim Lawyers
Workplace sex discrimination is unlawful. If you believe that you have been a victim of this type of behaviour whilst at work you should take urgent legal advice from a sex discrimination solicitor. There are strict time limits for applications for compensation to the Employment Tribunal and you need to speak to a sex discrimination solicitor as soon as possible.
Sex Discrimination Act 1975
The main relevant statute is the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (amended in 1986). The Act covers both men and women and transsexuals now also fall within its scope, but sexual orientation is not expressly covered. The Act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against married people in relation to their marital status. Issues relating to pay and contractual terms are dealt with under the Equal Pay Act 1970.
The Statute covers both permanent and temporary jobs, whatever the size of the firm. It protects job applicants, apprentices and trainees, employees and contract workers. Employers are liable for the acts of their employees carried out in the course of employment, regardless of whether they knew about or approved those acts, unless they took all reasonably practicable preventative measures. It is irrelevant whether an employer acts with the best of intentions and is not personally prejudiced. What counts is what the employer does, rather than the thought processes behind the action.
The Statute covers recruitment (including terms on which employment is offered, and refusal to offer employment), promotion (including transfer, training, benefits, and facilities offered) and dismissal (including expiry and non-renewal of a fixed term contract). It also covers subjecting a worker to any other detriment, thereby putting him or her at a disadvantage.
Sex Discrimination Categories
There are three kinds of potential claims:
This is when a worker is treated differently because he or she has made a complaint, or been involved in another worker’s complaint. The only defence to this is if the worker made a false allegation and did not act in good faith.
An example of victimisation is if a former employer refuses to provide an ex-employee with a reference because he or she has issued legal proceedings.
This is where one worker is treated differently or less favourably than other workers because of his or her sex or marital status. There is no defence for this (with a few exceptions, such as genuine occupational qualifications) but a worker will usually have a stronger case if they can point to an actual person of the opposite gender who was treated more favourably in similar circumstances. However, a hypothetical comparator may also be used.
An example of a direct claim is requiring all male workers to be over 6 feet tall, and all female workers to be over 5 feet. A male applicant of 5 feet 6 inches who was therefore refused a job would suffer direct discrimination.
This is where a seemingly neutral requirement or condition is imposed, but makes it less likely that either male or female workers are able to meet the requirement. The only defence to this is if the requirements imposed can be objectively justified.
An example of indirect Sex Discrimination is requiring all employees to be over 6 feet tall, making women disproportionately less able to meet this requirement.
Employment Law Solicitors
Our sex discrimination solicitors operate in all areas of dispute between employees and employers and they do nothing else which enables them to achieve your goals in the most efficient and practical way possible. They are able to pursue or negotiate a compensation claim on your behalf and can provide representation anywhere in the United Kingdom. If you would like an initial free consultation for advice to find out whether you have a good case, how to go about claiming and how much your compensation might be worth you can call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices. If after talking to a specialist lawyer you decide not to take matters further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged for our initial advice session.