Discrimination & Equality
While employers are required to ensure equality in the workplace, claims for discrimination are on the rise.
We can advise on all aspects of equality at work.
Discrimination and equality
Fundamentally, it is unlawful to discriminate against individuals at work by reason of sex, sexual orientation and gender reassignment, age, disability, race, religion or belief, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership.
The imperative for equality and diversity in the workplace is mirroring changes in both the law and in the UK workforce demographic, for example, employees are retiring later and more women are active in the labour market. UK employers have to keep pace.
Beyond legal compliance, improving workplace equality brings wider business benefits. Where employees feel valued and supported within the working environment, it helps to attract and retain employees, improve morale, competitiveness, reputation and productivity. Good working practices also reduce the risk of complaints, disputes, disciplinary action and employment tribunal claims.
Discrimination and equality guidance for employers
Equality in the workplace drives fairness in opportunity that benefits both employees and employers.
We work with employers to help improve equality of job opportunities and treatment through fair and flexible HR strategies, procedures and policies.
This means ensuring fair treatment across the employee lifecycle, from job applicants during the initial recruitment stage through to existing employees, and taking positive steps to prevent against all forms of workplace discrimination, including direct and indirect discrimination, associative discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
We can help to clarify and articulate what equality means for your organisation and its workforce, which may result in identifying additional support or reasonable adjustment requirements.
Importantly, where a complaint does arise, it may also necessitate a review of policies, disciplinary procedures relating to discrimination to manage any future or further legal risk exposure.
We can help
DavidonsMorris’ team of employment solicitors and HR consultants offer support to employers with all aspects of workplace discrimination and equality.
Where there is a complaint or allegation of discrimination or inequality, we can offer support to help you manage the process fairly and in accordance with the relevant guidelines.
If tribunal proceedings are issued, we can defend and represent you through the litigation process.
We can also help to promote equality and prevent discrimination by developing and implementing measures to reduce and avoid equality and discrimination issues as well as the processes for handling issues and complaints that may arise.
Our specialists can help to:
- Improve understanding and awareness of what discrimination is within the organisation
- Promote best practice in equality and good employment practices
- Protect your organisation from employment claims
- Defend and represent your organisation against tribunal claims
This includes development of an equality and diversity policy defining what is acceptable and expected of individual employees and their roles in preventing discrimination and promoting equality.
We can also assist with implementation support, training for management and the wider workforce and with devising a diversity strategy that sets out guidelines and expectations for the organisation to guide behaviour and actions within the workplace.
We also have specific experience in advising employers on the exemption provisions under the Equality Act which allow employers in certain, limited circumstances to lawfully treat employees or job applicants less favourably.