The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to be discriminated against because of your race, colour, and nationality, ethnic or national origin.
There are four types of discrimination.
- Harassment: is when an employee receives unwanted attention related to their race and has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that employee to be working
- Victimisation:unfair treatment of an employee who has made a complaint or supported someone who has made a complaint about racial discrimination.
- Direct discrimination:treating someone unfairly because of their actual race, or because of the race of someone that they associate with.
- Indirect discrimination:can occur where there is a policy or procedure in place which will apply to all workers, but particularly disadvantages people of certain race, for example of this a job applicants needs to have GCSE Maths and English, people educated in other countries don’t do GCSEs this would be seen as someone being discriminated against if the company didn’t accept their equivalent qualifications.
There are some circumstances where there are jobs which can require the employee to be a particular race, this is known as an occupational requirement, for an example of this if the employee provides a personal welfare service for a limited number of people of a certain racial group because of a cultural needs and sensitivities.
Policies should be designed to prevent discrimination in:
- Discipline and grievances
- Determining pay and romotion
- Bullying and harassment
Any company should provide positive action by supporting, encouraging and if people need training from particular racial groups. A company should ensure by tackling a smaller particular racial group that don’t discriminate against another racial group outside that group.
Positive action is only allowed where a particular racial group:
- Is smaller and under represented
- Suffers a disadvantage
- Might have different needs from the needs of other racial groups in the workforce.
You can take a company to the Employment Tribunal if you feel you have been discriminated against because of you race, you should always try to sort things out firstly with your company trying to keep it informally before going down the formal route.