Race Discrimination Solicitors - UK Compensation Claims




Our race discrimination solicitors specialise in disputes arising under the Race Relations Act 1976. If you would like to talk confidentially to an experienced lawyer just use the helpline or email our offices. A legal expert who deals exclusively in employment claims will phone you with advice and information on how best to preserve your legal rights. You will be given clear and unequivocal advice on your chances of success before the Employment Tribunal and the anticipated value of your claim.

Race Relations Act 1976

The Race Relations Act 1976 which covers the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin applies in England, Scotland and Wales with very similar legislation in Northern Ireland. The legislation protects some religious groups but does not cover religion in general. Those protected in employment matters include job applicants, employees, self-employed and contract workers who are protected from discrimination, victimisation and harassment. The act covers recruitment (including terms on which employment is offered, and refusal to offer employment), promotion (including transfer, training, benefits, and facilities offered) and dismissal (including expiry and non-renewal of a fixed term contract).

Racial prejudice or acts of race discrimination in the workplace which can be taken to the Employment Tribunal by a race discrimination solicitor are covered by applicable legislation and provide guidance for situations of employment in the following areas:

  • application process
  • employment
  • termination
  • terms of employment
  • salary
  • benefits
  • training
  • promotions
  • transfers

Racial Discrimination at Work

If you believe that you were subjected to biased treatment in your place of work that was based on race, national or ethnic background or your colour you might have a racial discrimination compensation claim that is actionable by our specialist solicitors. In order to make a determination of discrimination based on race, intent is not important, normally if the act or acts are determined to be damaging and produce unfavourable treatment, the intent to do harm does not need to be established.

Direct or Indirect Discrimination

Race discrimination can be either direct which occurs when a person is treated less favourably than another on the grounds of race or indirect which means imposing a requirement where the proportion of one racial group that can comply with the rule is considerably smaller than the proportion of another racial group that can comply and an individual is disadvantaged by the rule which cannot be shown to be justifiable irrespective of race. Improper or illegal acts are distinguished as either Indirect or Direct:

    Direct Discrimination:

    Direct racial discrimination points to individuals of a select race receiving certain privileges, such as promotion or better working conditions over equally qualified persons in the same position or those that are denied promotions or privileges based on their race. Acts of persecution or provocation by co-workers or employers that are racially motivated are also “direct discrimination”.

    Indirect Discrimination:

    Indirect race discrimination is the occurrence of employment policies that appear to be impartial at first glance but on further examination impede those of certain races or ethnic backgrounds from getting a desired position. Take for instance a policy that dictates that employees in management positions keep their hair short; this policy may affect a Sikhs’ ability to get promotion to management, as they are required by convictions of faith to wear their hair long under their turbans. Some policies are therefore deliberately enacted to preclude the application for certain positions based on race.

Positive Discrimination:

In some cases, “positive discrimination” is allowed due to a certain race or ethnicity being an under-represented minority (UNM) within an organisation or where an actor needs to be a certain ethnicity to fill a particular role for a movie or on TV.

Racial Harassment

Racial harassment is a type of racial discrimination. An individual becomes a victim of racial harassment if subjected to offensive or unfavourable treatment based on their national origin, race, colour or ethnicity. There are numerous different practices which may constitute direct racial harassment including verbal provocation, slander or isolated physical attacks. Racial harassment can also take the more subtle form of bullying which is a succession of seemingly trivial or insignificant incidents, but when considered together amount to racial harassment. Claims based solely on an opinion of a person’s prejudice will not succeed. Prejudice is a perception about how certain groups act whereas harassment is represented by acts which by law are unacceptable.

There is no explicit statute that comprehensively deals with racial harassment which is actually dealt with by reference to:

  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Protection from Harassment Act 1996
  • Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Racial harassment is conduct which is offensive, unwelcome and unreasonable which results in a humiliating, hostile or intimidating environment and may include :-

  • racist jokes and banter
  • offensive language
  • innuendos
  • practical jokes
  • display of racist publications
  • notes containing insults
  • physical assault
  • abusive e-mail messages
  • racist terminology

Whether the action complained of was intended to cause offence does not matter as it will still constitute potential racial harassment if the employee being subjected to the behaviour feels harmed and finds it unacceptable. Just one serious instance of racial harassment may be enough to justify an award of compensation by the Employment Tribunal which can award an amount for aggravated damages if the behaviour has been particularly offensive. There is no limit to the amount of compensation that can be awarded by the Employment Tribunal in these cases and there is no minimum period of employment necessary to qualify for an award.

Racial Victimisation

Racial victimisation occurs when someone has been treated less favourably than another person because they have indicated that they intend to bring a case under the legislation or have given evidence in a case or they have alleged that something has been done that may be against the law in relation to the relevant legislation.

Employment Tribunal

Applications for compensation are made to Employment Tribunal which can award compensation. Tribunals can award an amount for aggravated damages if the behaviour has been particularly offensive. There is no limit to the amount of compensation that can be awarded in discrimination cases which can result in substantial damages being awarded.

Race Discrimination Solicitor

Legal advice is offered on a no win no fee* basis. You and one of our race discrimination solicitors will agree on a percentage of any compensation to be paid to us in the case of a favourable outcome. This agreement will occur prior to us taking your claim, to prohibit hidden fees or surprises. If we fail to win, you don’t pay anything.

If you would like to talk confidentially to a race discrimination solicitor about a potential compensation claim in the Employment Tribunal just use the helpline or email our offices.

Evidence Preservation

Victims who have suffered race discrimination in the workplace and intend taking their claim to the Employment Tribunal for an award of compensation can greatly increase their chances of success if they obtain and preserve evidence of wrongdoing or unlawful acts in order to assist their race discrimination solicitor. Recording relevant information is extremely important as follows::

  • Keep detailed notes or a log filled with specific circumstances of harassment. Specifics should consist of dates, times and locations as well as names of witnesses or harassers.
  • Promptly inform a superior, the offender’s superior if known immediately after any incident of harassment and keep a note in your log or diary.
  • If the superior’s actions have no effect, then lodge an official complaint with a trade union official or management. Use your log or diary to record the specifics.