We are now in a lockdown and as a result, most of us are going to be spending more time at home than ever before. As a result, I thought I’d write an article here and there to inform and maybe even entertain.

I thought that I would start with the elephant in the room. That is COVID-19 aka Coronavirus, or as the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump has called it; the ‘Chinese Virus’. This would almost certainly be discrimination and if you were to repeat it in the work place, it could land you in hot water.

This takes me to the main topic of today’s blog. Racism and discrimination.

Race is of course one of the nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. This Act protects you from discrimination based on your age, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, race, any disability etc. It is an incredibly important piece of legislation and one that helps to guide one of the foundations of our society; that all of us are equal.

One of the main issues is proving that you are being discriminated against. The discrimination might be quite obvious if for instance you are of Chinese heritage and your boss sends an email round the firm calling it ‘the Chinese Virus’, or openly uses this terminology in the office. No doubt if anyone was to do this, they wouldn’t last long in their job. However, in reality, discrimination can often be more subtle and proving it to your employer, or even the Employment Tribunal, can be difficult and boil down to your word against theirs.

As such there are various procedures or methods which can assist, especially when in most cases the employer holds all the information. For example, you can:

  1. Ask a series of questions, requesting your employer to explain their decision-making process; this will signal to your employer the seriousness of your claim and may push to an early settlement.
  2. Make a Subject Access Request, which your employer will find difficult to ignore.
  3. Make a request for specific disclosure of potentially relevant information.

The above steps would usually be taken after you have left the firm or after have been dismissed and you are assessing your options. You could however bring options 1 and 2 into play whilst still employed, in the form of a grievance. If you are concerned about being dismissed as a result of raising a grievance, you can seek some solace from knowing that such a dismissal could automatically be deemed an unfair dismissal.

Our job is to help guide you through what is a difficult and potentially confusing process. If you are concerned about being discriminated against at work and would like to have a free confidential chat about your potential options, please do not hesitate to get in touch at fred@kleymansolcitors.com.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full-service law firm. Locked-down, but not out!