What Is Race Discrimination?
Race or racial discrimination is an act of being treated differently due to an employee’s race, assumed race or from being associated to somebody of a different race. The definition of race can be portrayed by nationality, assumed nationality, citizenship, colour, ethnic minority or ethnic origin.
Unfair treatment can be the result of continual repeated discrimination or abuse of a single one-off act of discrimination. Racial discrimination doesn’t have to have been intentional. It could be the result of longstanding or new company rules and regulations. The only necessity is that discrimination has been made due to the employee’s race or perceived race.
The four main areas of race discrimination are direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
All employees are covered by the regulations outlined in the Equality Act 2010. Race discrimination covers all employees including management, contract or agency workers, freelancers, self-employed staff, trainees, apprentices and also job applicants.
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 covers all legal aspects of what is considered race discrimination and which areas are liable for claims and prosecution. The act outlines many areas of race and race perception. This includes groups of people who share protection due to characteristics of their race. As nationality and citizenship are both included in the demographic of race the act discloses that judgement can include two or more inclusive groups such as Black British, British Asians, Irish Travellers, Romany Gypsies and other such groups covered by two differing nationalities, ethnicities or colour.
Direct Race Discrimination
Direct discrimination is the act of one employee being treated less favourably than another because of their race. Typical examples of race discrimination can be shown by an employee of the same or higher level of efficiency being overlooked for a promotion or pay increase due to their race or colour. If an employer or manager states that there could be customer objection due to their race or colour, or fails to consider an employee for particular acts of business operation, perhaps being denied management of a particular account, a sale or other opportunity due to their race or colour then this is also grounds for discrimination.
Indirect Race Discrimination
Indirect discrimination is carried out when a company policy or rule that doesn’t appear to be race specific puts employees of another race nationality or ethnic minority at a disadvantage. Discrimination is in effect if any such rule cannot be shown to have a legitimate business aim or outcome. For example, in the same way a dress code can be shown to apply sex discrimination against women, if employees are ordered to be clean shaven at all times this can be seen as putting certain religious groups at a disadvantage. This is considered indirect discrimination.
There are areas of legislation in indirect discrimination that can be shown to be acceptable in specific situations. Areas of employment where this might take effect are acting, modelling, welfare services, and in the food and drink industry where race and ethnicity are expected to retain authenticity within a culture or ethnic minority.
Harassment is outlined as unwanted conduct towards an employee of a different race, ethnicity or national origin with a motive to disrespect or intimidate. This is classed as race discrimination. If an employee is being harassed by means of degrading, humiliating or offensive behaviour, these areas are grounds for legal action. The Equality Act outlines definitions of conduct that account for the manner in which behaviour is delivered and also by the way a victim of abuse perceives and reacts against it. The victim’s perception of harassment is factor. This is especially relevant in cases where abuse is attempted to be excused as light-hearted or as ‘a bit of fun’ as the result towards the victim may still be one of disrespect and unwanted conduct.
Examples of harassment can include most inappropriate behaviour types including abusive language, physical abuse, bullying, excessive monitoring and also excessive criticism.
Racial harassment can also include discrimination by association. A white colleague can claim against the behaviour delivered towards a black colleague if he or she was a witness to it and was also personally offended by the harassing behaviour.
The act of victimisation is when an employee is being treated unfairly as a result of making a claim or helping a work colleague make a claim of race discrimination. Victimisation also occurs when unjust treatment is applied due to an employer or colleague making an assumption that an employee made or helped a colleague make a racial discrimination complaint.
Employer And Employee Liability
In the act of race discrimination both the employer of and the employees found to have acted in a discriminatory manner are all liable to claims. An employer is expected to present a suitable and fair workplace for all employees and instigate behaviours to protect their staff from unwarranted poor behaviour from other employees.
An employment tribunal claim could be brought against both colleague and employer where acts of discrimination have occurred in the course of the perpetrators employment. This is called vicarious liability
Providing Proof Of Discrimination
In order to prove discrimination an employee must evidence facts from which the tribunal could determine, if the employer has no legitimate explanation, that discrimination has taken place.
Presenting proof of direct discrimination is often difficult as employers will be likely to deny all acts that are difficult to prove.”
Making A Race Discrimination Claim
You must make your claim within 3 months from when the act or most recent act of discrimination happened. You must have followed the ACAS Early Conciliation Scheme before submitting a claim to an employment tribunal.
All complaints and work related problems should be dealt with according to the appropriate processes for individual businesses. Initial complaints should be made verbally but if the accusations aren’t dealt with satisfactorily further complaints should be made in writing in order to be used as proof of events in further proceedings. If after following the correct processes you are not satisfied with the outcome then you are entitled to take matters further and apply for issues to be resolved through an employment tribunal.
Race discrimination claims are settled by declaring the rights of the claimant, the employer can be recommended to take steps to correct the discrimination or remove any rules or regulations that caused the discrimination, and an amount of compensation should be awarded to the employee making the claim.
There is no cap for compensation in a race discrimination case. Awards are made for injury to feelings and losses suffered. Losses include elements such as wages and pensions.
Contact Employment Solicitors Manchester Now
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