Sex Discrimination Solicitors - Employment Compensation Claims Lawyers

Our sex discrimination solicitors deal with applications to the Employment Tribunal. Specialist sex discrimination solicitors offer free advice on all employment compensation claims with no further obligation. If you would like to speak to a lawyer with no charge just complete the contact form or call the helpline or email our offices. Please bear in mind that there are very tight time limits applicable to claims heard before the Employment Tribunal and the general rule is that an application must be submitted within three months of the last offensive incident failing which the opportunity to claim compensation may be lost forever however the judge does have a wide discretion to extend time limits which should never be relied on as a method of extending the time available. If sex discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation has forced you to hand in your notice and resign our solicitor will be able to deal with an application to an Employment Tribunal on the basis of 'constructive dismissal'.

Obtaining compensation in a sex discrimination case starts by instructing an employment law solicitor who will attempt to negotiate a settlement with your employer failing which the sex discrimination solicitor will make an application for compensation to the Employment Tribunal. which will have regard to the following statutes:

  • The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 – Established that negative differential management of employee interests based entirely on marital status and/or sex is illegal.

  • The Equal Opportunities Commission Code of Practice 1985 – Established that a concept of equal opportunity must be provided to both women and men at work and when applying for employment.

  • The Equal Pay Act 1970 – Established that an employer must give equal pay and equal benefits to both men and women who perform similar or the same work.

  • The Employment Equality Regulations 2003 – Established that employers who are discriminating against employees because of sexual preference or sexual orientation are acting unlawfully or illegally.

Direct & Indirect Action

The two elementary categories pertaining to sex discrimination are: Indirect and Direct:

  • Direct Discrimination is expressed by episodes when an employer or management obviously and brazenly mistreats or mishandles a worker based on gender.

  • Indirect Discrimination is significantly more implied than direct. The employer tries to be more discreet or attempts to divert his intent. The employer employs obstacles against workers to block advancement or deny a certain sex the same opportunities as the other. Consider an instance where an employer, knowing that he only wants men in a particular position, also knows that men are normally taller than women, then unjustifiably makes it a requirement for applicants to be greater than six feet in height.

Sex Discrimination

Certain kinds of discrimination is unlawful in relation to employment. The legislation which applies in England, Scotland and Wales covers discrimination on the grounds of gender, marriage and transsexualism. Similar legislation also applies to Northern Ireland. Those protected under the Act include :-

  • job applicants
  • employees
  • self-employed
  • contract workers
  • voluntary workers
  • former employees

It is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of gender by virtue of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the remedy for which is an application to an Employment Tribunal for a declaration, a recommendation or an order requiring payment of compensation which may include elements intended to cover loss of earnings, benefits and pension with the potential for an award of aggravated damages if the behaviour has been particularly offensive. Sexual discrimination may also be considered to be an illegal criminal offense under separate legislation upon which you may need to take advice from a sex discrimination solicitor. There is no financial limit to the amount of compensation that can be awarded for sex discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation by an Employment Tribunal. The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 is in force in England, Scotland and Wales and specifically applies to discrimination on the grounds of gender, marriage and trans-sexualism with similar though not identical legislation enacted in Northern Ireland. The legislation covers job applicants, employees, the self-employed, contract workers, voluntary workers and former employees. Discrimination can be either direct or indirect and as an example a requirement that applicants must be above or below a certain height is indirect sexual discrimination as it inevitably favours one gender or the other.

In general terms it is unlawful to discriminate against workers because of their gender and employers should ensure they have policies in place, having consulted a sex discrimination solicitor for advice which are designed to prevent discrimination in:

  • recruitment and selection
  • determining pay
  • training and development
  • selection for promotion
  • discipline and grievances
  • countering bullying and harassment.

Employers are also liable for acts carried out by the victim's co-workers however the victim should complain to line management at the first opportunity after an incident of sex discrimination. In certain circumstances an employer can be held liable for incidents that occur outside the workplace for example at a works party or a works sporting event that the employer may not be able to control.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as conduct which is offensive, unwelcome and unreasonable resulting in a humiliating, hostile or intimidating workplace environment. Harassment takes many forms and may be overt or clandestine alternatively it can be direct or indirect. Sexual harassment is a very difficult topic because what offends one person may not offend another. Predators often attempt to dismiss this type of behaviour as a jocular incident with comments such as 'only joking' however this often exacerbates the situation by implying that the victim is unworldly or prudish. The important element is the actual effect that it has on the victim. The perpetrator must take the victim as they find them and it is not a defence to suggest that most other people would not have taken offence at the comments or actions that the victim found offensive. Incidents of sexual harassment are subjective and not objective, the intention being to nip in the bud those comments that may be made by a coarse or think skinned individual who in most circumstances doesn't care about what they say or who they offend.

The following list is only an example of what may be sufficient to justify an application to an Employment Tribunal. The incidents outlined are not exhaustive and there are many other situations where an application for compensation to an Employment Tribunal will follow :-

  • fondling or touching
  • pestering for attention
  • forwarding inappropriate emails
  • accessing pornographic websites
  • innuendoes
  • lewd comments
  • insensitive jokes
  • suggestive remarks or gestures
  • requests for sexual favours
  • unwelcome advances
  • threats of, or actual, sexual violence
  • displays of unacceptable material including pin-up calendars or graffiti

Sexual Victimisation

This term is the term used when someone who has made a complaint about either sexual discrimination or sexual harassment to an Employment Tribunal is treated less favourably by either the employer or co-workers as a direct result of the application having been made to the Employment Tribunal often with the intent of intimidating the applicant to withdraw the application. Witnesses to cases in which they are not the applicant are also protected from sexual victimisation under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. Applicants and witnesses are also subsequently protected against sexual victimisation if their case before the Employment Tribunal is lost, provided that their evidence was given in good faith.

Employment Tribunal

Applications as a result of sexual discrimination or sexual harassment are made to Employment Tribunal which can make a recommendation, a declaration or award compensation. Compensation is payable for the financial loss suffered as a result of discrimination which may include loss of earnings, loss of benefits and pension and injury to feelings. Tribunals can award an amount for aggravated damages if the behaviour has been particularly offensive. Unlike unfair dismissal cases there is no limit to the amount of compensation that can be awarded in discrimination cases which can result in very high financial orders being made against employers.

Sex Discrimination Solicitors

Our sex discrimination solicitors specialise in claims arising as a result of employment disputes and they act on behalf of clients in claims under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. They deal exclusively in employment matters and are able to pursue or negotiate claims and can provide representation anywhere in the United Kingdom. If you would like to talk confidentially to an experienced solicitor just use the helpline, email or complete and send the contact form.