The Law Society discussed race discrimination in the workplace highlighting employee rights and how to ensure you are being treated fairly during the live Twitter #Solicitorchat session on Thursday 29th July.
Q1. What rights do employees have against racial discrimination in the workplace?
Discrimination in the workplace is based on certain prejudices and occurs when an employee is treated unfavourably. Race is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. This means that employees cannot be disadvantaged in the workplace by reason of their race.
Q2. What protections are there from racial harassment in the workplace?
Harassment on grounds of someone’s race is classed as discrimination and prohibited by the Equality Act 2010. If you believe you have been racially harassed, you should report it to your line manager immediately. Unlike other forms of discrimination, individual work colleagues can be personally liable for harassment of colleagues, so employers must take reports of racial harassment seriously.
Q3. What can I do if I feel I have been discriminated against because of my race during my employment?
Report it to management in the form of a grievance. Where you feel that the appropriate action hasn’t been taken, or it is of such a serious nature, speak to a solicitor or call ACAS.
Q4. What can I do if I feel I have been discriminated against during the recruitment process because of race?
It is important that the interviewer is focused on the job in question, finding the most skilled worker for the company irrespective of race, or other factors. If you feel you have been discriminated against, tell the company you are applying to join and ask for the full reasons for any decisions made. If necessary, call ACAS or speak to a solicitor.
Q5. What top tips would you give to employers to create and maintain a non-discriminate workplace?
Create and follow an equal opportunities policy. Have a clear and transparent grievance procedure. Businesses should have a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination to include staff who bully or discriminate should be disciplined and/or dismissed.
Train your staff to spot discriminatory behaviour. Encourage people from all backgrounds to join your company.
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*The information provided in this article is designed to provide useful information on the subject, not to provide specific legal advice.