Employees and workers are now protected from discrimination on protected grounds, which include:

  • Sex
  • Race
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sexual orientation
  • Fixed-term and part time status

The 2010 Equality Act has replaced a large number of individual Acts and Regulations. Whilst the Act is primarily a harmonisation exercise there are a number of significant changes, including the introduction of concepts of discrimination arising from disability and discrimination by association and perception.

The Equality Act applies to all businesses and if correct procedures are not followed a claim to an Employment Tribunal alleging discrimination may follow. This can result in:

  • Financial penalty – there is no limit to compensation which may be awarded
  • Adverse publicity
  • Unnecessary time wasted

Action Required

  • Be aware of potential discrimination at all stages of an employment relationship, including recruitment  
  • Regularly review terms and conditions of employment and consider monitoring for evidence of unconscious discrimination
  • Always allocate benefits or “perks” fairly
  • Introduce an Equality Policy, regularly review and train all employees in its implementation
  • Treat complaints seriously and swiftly
  • Regularly review your Grievance Procedure to ensure that there is provision for employees to raise grievances in relation to discrimination if required
  • Train all staff in equality matters
  • Regularly review, update and audit your procedures

Always take legal advice!

These comments are provided for guidance only. Each situation has to be examined on its own merits and circumstances and you should not, therefore, rely upon the above without taking specific legal advice in relation to any particular matter.

Specialist advice can be obtained from 
Alan Matthew in our Dundee Office (tel: 01382 200 000) or
from Emma Allan in our Perth Office (tel: 01738 637 311)

February 2013

Business First

If you would like to speak to us about any services or have and questions please contact us by filling out the form. 

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Perth Office

Legal Office: 01738 637311
Estate Agency Office: 01738 630222

Dundee Office

Legal Office: 01382 200000
Estate Agency Office: 01382 200301

Crieff Office

Legal Office: 01764 655151
Estate Agency Office: 01764 670077