British Rules & Regulations

تعرض پنلوپي مكلاكلان أهم الأحكام والقوانين التي سنّتها الحكومة البريطانية مع روابط للمواقع الحكومية وأهم المنظمات التي تساعد المواطن من نيل حقوقه إن تعرّضَ لأذىً ما.

Penelope Maclachlan

The Equality Act 2010 has not eliminated discrimination, but helps everybody to understand what it is, and how to protect themselves against its malign effects.

The aim of the Act is to support fairness at work.  It is unlawful to discriminate against people at work in nine areas, knowns as protected characteristics. These areas are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

Age discrimination occurs when someone is unfairly disadvantaged for reasons relating to their age which cannot be objectively justified. It has been unlawful in the UK since 2006, with the law now incorporated into the Equality Act 2010. People of all ages can be affected, especially younger and older workers. The growing number of older people in employment makes this group a key focus. (See Acas – website below)

If you are disabled, make sure you’re getting all the help you have a right to. For example, you may be entitled to benefits. You may have care needs that a council can help with. There are parking and transport concessions for disabled people. For more information about benefits see Benefits for people who are sick or disabled from Citizens Advice (contact details below). You can find your local council on gov.uk. For information on transport and parking concessions see Transport options for disabled people below.

If an employee feels they have been discriminated against they will be able to bring a claim to an employment tribunal (website below). But before they consider this step, they should talk with their employer first to try to resolve the matter with them. Since 26 July 2017 claimants do not have to pay to make a claim to the employment tribunal or the employment appeals tribunal. Anyone who has previously paid fees to an employment tribunal or employment appeals tribunal should get a refund – the Government has now announced details at http://www.gov.uk/government/news/opening-stage-of-employment-tribunal-fee-refund-scheme-launched.

Under the Equality Act 2010 an employee’s right not to be discriminated against because of marriage and civil partnership included direct and indirect discrimination, and victimisation. These types of discrimination are:

Direct discrimination

This is when someone encounters less favourable treatment because they are married or in a civil partnership. For example, it is unlawful for an employer to deny promotion to a married person because they think a single person will work longer hours.

Direct Discrimination

This is when a provision or practice is in place for all employees, but would put people who are married or in civil partnerships at a disadvantage.

Victimisation

This is when an employee suffers a disadvantage because they have complained about discrimination in the workplace. For example, if they have complained about marriage or civil partnership discrimination or have supported another employee in a complaint, and then they have suffered ill-treatment from colleagues and/or managers because of it, this is victimisation.

If you feel you’re a victim of marriage or civil partnership discrimination call Tribunal Claim on 0800 756 6605 (number also given below). Its help is on a no-win-no-fee basis.

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination is when you’re treated unfairly because you’re pregnant, on maternity leave, breastfeeding or have recently given birth. Help is available from the Equality Advisory  Support Service (EASS) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) (www.equalityhumanrights.com)/  (repeated below)

A person’s race can be made up of two or more of the following – they include their nationality, colour, or ethnic origin. If you belong to any of these groups and you experience discrimination because of one of these elements, this is race discrimination. It also counts as discrimination if you are not part of a certain group but someone discriminates against you because they think that you are. Race discrimination in any of the following is unlawful: the workplace; any educational institution; when providing goods and services like the police, prisons, the NHS, local authorities and government departments. Even if the discrimination is unintentional it is still likely to count as discrimination and be unlawful. All employers should have the policy to eradicate racism and encourage race equality.

If you feel you have been discriminated against at work because of race, talk to your employer first to try to resolve the matter through them. If that fails, your next step might be to make a claim of discrimination to an employment tribunal, which you must do within three months of the act of discrimination. See Equality & Human Rights Commission eoc.org.uk/race-discrimination. (repeated below)

It is unlawful to discriminate against employees because of their religion or belief, or lack of religion or belief. There are four main types of discrimination:

Direct – treating someone less favourably than others because of their religion or belief.

Indirect – can occur when a workplace rule applies to all employees but puts at a disadvantage people who hold a certain religion or belief. For example, an employee may seek time off for religious observance. The employer may be justified in refusing this if it is essential for all staff to be present at certain times. If, however, the workplace can still function effectively during temporary absences of a member of staff, the employer ought to allow such time off.

Harassment – this is unwanted conduct, in this case, related to someone’s religion or belief, which, for example, leaves them distressed, humiliated or offended.

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against employees because of their sex. Direct discrimination is when someone is treated less favourably than others because of their sex. For example, it is unlawful to advertise a job as better suited for women, unless there is a crucial reason which can be justified as what the law terms an ‘occupational requirement’.  For example, an employer is certain to say a bra-fitter must be a woman.

Indirect discrimination would occur, for example, if an employer arbitrarily says only applicants over six feet tall will be considered. Few women are that tall, so indirectly it discriminates against them.

If you feel you have suffered from sex discrimination you should talk to your employer first to try to resolve the matter through them. If that fails, your. next step might be to make a claim of discrimination to an employment tribunal. Free information is available through the Acas Helpline 0300 123 11 00 (repeated below).

The Equality Act 2010 defines sexual orientation as:

a person’s sexual orientation towards persons of the same-sex (lesbians and gay men); a person’s sexual orientation towards persons of the opposite sex (heterosexual); and a person’s sexual orientation towards persons of either sex (bisexual).

The law protects and applies equally to people who are discriminated against because they are lesbian, gay, heterosexual or bisexual. It does not specifically use these terms, but these are the most commonly used and accepted descriptions in everyday life for each of the protected sexual orientations. It is also unlawful to discriminate against an employee because they are associated with someone who is lesbian, gay, heterosexual or bisexual. The law also protects people who are discriminated against because they are perceived – correctly or incorrectly – to be lesbian, gay, heterosexual or bisexual. Further, someone subjected to comments and behaviour regarding sexual orientation which they find offensive is likely to be able to claim harassment.

 

Numbers and websites to help you:

Advisory, Conciliation & Arbitration Service (Acas)

http://www.acas.org.uk

Acas has an extensive set of advice on preventing discrimination at work at ww.acas.org.uk/equality

Acas Helpline 0300 123 11 00

Citizens’ Advice

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people

GOV.UK

https://www.gov.uk

Transport if you’re disabled

https://www.gov.uk/transport-disabled

https://http://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals/when-you-can-claim

Tribunal Claim  0800 756 6605

Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) (www.equalityhumanrights.com)/

Equality & Human Rights Commission (eoc.org.uk/race-discrimination)

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