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Options if you feel discriminated at work


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What are your options if you feel discriminated at work?

Discrimination of any kind within the workplace is against the law. If you feel discriminated against, there are a number of options open to you to resolve the matter – but before you take action, it’s important to know what your rights are.

It’s also worth being 100% sure that you are being discriminated against before you take the matter further.

Understanding your options

The main options you have when it comes to dealing with discrimination in the workplace are:

  • Make an informal complaint to your employer
  • Use your employers grievance procedures to formally make a complaint
  • Make a complaint to the employment tribunal

The employment tribunal should be the very last option you consider, as ideally you should first approach your employer directly to talk about the problem. Most of the time, they will try to resolve the issue with you so you don’t have to take the matter further.

The only exception to this might be if the problem you are having is specifically with the employer and not another employee. If your actual boss is the one that it making you feel uncomfortable, you’ll need to make a complaint using the grievance procedure. If you think that won’t work, you can go straight to a tribunal.

discrimination at work


Things to consider before going to a Tribunal

Making a complaint to the employment tribunal can be time consuming and extremely stressful. You’ll need to be sure you stand a good chance of winning the case before you go ahead.
It’s worth pointing out that if you go straight to a tribunal before you follow the actual grievance guidelines set by your employer, any compensation can be cut if you win the case.
If you still decide the matter would be better going to a tribunal, you’ll need to make sure you make a claim within 3 months of when the incident happened.
Provide as much information as you can about what actually happened – times and dates will really help to strengthen your claim. If this is an on-going problem, be sure to keep a diary of what happens and at what time it happens and if there were any witnesses – you can then use it as evidence if needed.

 Is the problem to do with equality?

It’s absolutely vital you know which law you are dealing with before you go to a tribunal. In terms of discrimination, you will be filing a complaint based upon equality law. This means you should have a good understanding of what that law actually is.

You could well be experiencing a problem at work, but it may not specifically apply to equality law. If you’re unsure it would be advisable to seek help from an organisation such as the Citizens Advice Bureau. They provide free advice and will help you to determine which form of action is best suited to your case.

There are laws that protect you from discrimination, but before you act it would be a good idea to talk to your employer and try to reach a mutual resolution.





About Jemma Porter

About Jemma Porter

Jemma Porter is an experienced content creator who has written for a number of online publications. A self-confessed penny pincher; she's often found seeking out the best personal finance deals.

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