Equality and Discrimination

You have the right not to be discriminated against at work on the grounds of a Protected Characteristic. These include age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Discrimination is one of the most complex areas of employment law, and there are strict time limits for bringing a claim at the Employment Tribunal.  Generally, claims for discrimination must be brought within 3 months less one day from the date that the discrimination occurred.  It is therefore important not to delay and to take immediate advice from an employment solicitor.

Discrimination laws apply to everyone at work and can occur when you apply for a job, during employment, and even after your employment has ended.

Types of discrimination claim:-

Direct discrimination

This occurs where an employer treats a worker less favourably on the grounds of a Protected Characteristic.

Indirect discrimination

This occurs where there is apparently equal treatment by the employer, but the effect of certain requirements imposed by the employer puts workers with a Protected Characteristic at a disadvantage


This occurs when a worker suffers a detriment because he/she has made a complaint about discrimination.


This occurs where there is unwanted conduct related to a Protected Characteristic with the purpose or effect of violating a worker’s dignity or creating an intimidating, degrading, humiliating or hostile environment. It is also unlawful to subject a worker to sexual harassment.

The Protected Characteristics are:


The law protects workers of all ages against discrimination.


A disabled person is a person who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

Gender Reassignment

This covers workers who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) for reassigning their sex by changing physiological or other aspects of sex.

Pregnancy and Maternity

A woman is protected against unfavourable treatment because she is pregnant, she has an illness relating to her pregnancy, she is on compulsory maternity leave or she is about to take, taking or has taken ordinary or additional maternity leave.


Race includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins.  You are also protected if you are discriminated against because someone perceives you as belonging to a particular racial group or if you associate with someone of a different racial group.

Religion or Belief

This Protected Characteristic also protects workers with no religion or belief.


This Protected Characteristic protects both men and women.  The law also specifically protects women from being treated unfavourably because they are pregnant or on maternity leave. Workers also have the right to equal pay.

Sexual Orientation

This protects workers with a sexual orientation towards people of the same sex or towards those of the opposite sex or towards people of either sex.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against at work then please contact us today. We can often agree to deal with your case on a No Win No Fee basis – offering you extra peace of mind.


News & Insights

Christmas has arrived!

Christmas has arrived at Guy Williams Layton, Liverpool and Heswall offices.  We close for Christmas at 5pm on 23rd December 2021 and re-open at 9am on 4th January 2022. We wish all our clients, past and present, and everyone we work with a lovely Christmas and New Year

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