22 June 2020
The first step towards combating race discrimination is to understand what is meant by the term “race” and how discrimination can arise.
Race does not just refer to a person’s colour, but also to their nationality, citizenship or ethnic or national origins. Discrimination on the grounds of race can be direct or indirect or even because of the race of someone that a person is connected to, such as a partner or family member.
Race discrimination is not only unpleasant it is unlawful, not only in respect of employment and training but also in the context of education, the activities of all business in providing goods and services and in the activities of all public authorities.
Race discrimination in the employment context
The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any person working for them, on the grounds of their race regardless of the size of the workforce. Workers, including employees, agency workers, trainees and those who are self-employed have protection from race discrimination when they are at work. It also requires that nobody is treated differently on racial grounds in respect of:
- recruitment and selection
- training, pay and benefits
- furlough, redundancy and dismissal
- terms and conditions of work
Race discrimination does not need to be deliberate. Someone may be discriminating without realising it or meaning to, but this might still count as discrimination.
Direct race discrimination
It is direct race discrimination to treat someone less favourably at work on the grounds of their race. Racist abuse and harassment are forms of direct discrimination. It is also direct discrimination if an employer turns down a person for a job because of their connection with someone else of a particular racial group.
Indirect race discrimination
It is indirect race discrimination to have a rule, policy or practice which people of a particular racial, ethnic or national group are less likely to be able to meet than other people in the workforce, and this places them at a disadvantage. An example might be insisting on English as a first language.
If you think that indirect race discrimination might have occurred, you can raise a grievance or take the matter further.
When less favourable treatment is not discrimination
If the employer can show that there are genuine reasons for the rule, policy or practice and that it has nothing to do with race, this will not amount to discrimination.
There are also some rare situations where employers are allowed to treat someone less favourably because of race and this won’t count as discrimination. An example might be an actor for a specific role in a play.
Alternatively click here to go to our contact page.
During these difficult times our Town Gate office in Basingstoke is temporarily closed to visitors unless by prior appointment when meeting in person is essential. However, thanks to our lawyers being able to work remotely, Phillips remains fully open for business and can discuss your legal matters by telephone and video conference.
This article is current at the date of publication set out above and is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.
Please call us or email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
- 01256 460830
- [email protected]
Phillips Solicitor’s Employment Team represented the Claimant, Mr Baugh, a senior manager working for IBM, an international company. He has claims for unfair redundancy and age discrimi ...More
The Wagatha Christie trial, that concluded at the High Court last week, has certainly provided many talking points these past couple of weeks. Whether it was the insight into the relat ...More
Did you know that on 6th April 2022 the law relating to divorce was updated? Fault will no longer be a basis for divorce and this marks the biggest change to the divorce law since the M ...More
Today in his Spring Statement Rishi Sunak, confirmed that the government will press ahead with its decision to use National Insurance Contributions (NICs) as a tax to help raise £36bn t ...More
Future proofing your commercial lease for RPI reform The UK Statistics Authority (the Authority) published its response to the consultation on the reform to the Retail Prices Index (RPI ...More
Leading Hampshire law firm Phillips Solicitors continues to go from strength to strength with the appointment of senior solicitor Clare Strachan, who has joined the firm as a Legal Dire ...More