What Is Racial Discrimination At Work?
Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to discrimination against employees (and workers and applicants) because of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin.
This does not need to refer to the employee’s race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, but could be some associated with them.
The main type of Racial Discrimination claim is direct discrimination (there is also three others: indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation). Direct discrimination is where someone is treated less favourably because of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin. The comparator (who is treated better) can be either a real comparator, a colleague for example, or can be a hypothetical comparator.
Over the years Racial Discrimination has become more subtle and often difficult to evidence when raising a complaint or claim of racial discrimination at an Employment Tribunal. Keeping good recoRacial Discriminations of documents and emails and a diary of events, as they occur, can provide invaluable if a claim is eventually made.
In practice it is common that employees do not document or record all events as, especially when the first or initial incidents occur, they are not contemplating litigation, which may be some months away, if ever. However, even a few words in a diary could make a significant difference to how the case progresses.
An example of direct racial discrimination while at work could be a non-promotion issue. For instance, when an internal candidate, who say is Black British, is not selected for a post, although
clearly he meets the requirements. However, based on perceptions, or due to personal issues, the manager feels that that person would not be suitable. The promotion instead is offered to a White
European candidate who is not as experienced and does not quite meet all the requirements, but gets on well with the manager.
What steps should you take against racial discrmination?
You could appeal against the non-promotion, if there is an internal process for doing this; or if not raise a grievance.
It is important to write down as much as you can recall from the interview and retrieve as much information about the role and your application as you can.
It is important to remember that if you intend to bring a claim to an Employment Tribunal you have 3 months (less one day) to submit the claim form to the Tribunal. It is now obligatory to also contact ACAS and follow the Early Conciliation process, which must be submitted with the same 3 month (less one day) period.
This should not be considered to be legal advice and you are advised to take legal advice directly for your own circumstances.