SEX DISCRIMINATION SOLICITORS - EMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CLAIMS
SOLICITORS HELPLINE 0345 515 0657
Our solicitors provide qualified advice on all matters involving employment disputes including issues relating to sex discrimination compensation claims. No win no fee claims are totally risk free and if you do not win your sex discrimination case, you do not pay any legal fees or expenses whatsoever. If you would like free advice on compensation claims without further obligation just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and one of our sex discrimination solicitors will be pleased to help you.
An application for compensation for sex discrimination can be made to the Employment Tribunal who will consider all of the evidence in order to ascertain whether or not there has been a breach of the law after consideration of :-
The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 - prohibits treating people differently on the basis of their sex or marital status.
The Employment Equality Regulations 2003 - makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against anyone because of sexual orientation or preferences.
The Equal Pay Act 1970 - requires employers to pay men and women the same amount for performing the same job.
The Equal Opportunities Commission Code of Practice 1985 - the main thrust of which is that businesses must provide equal opportunities to members of both sexes in the workplace.
It is possible for an individual to make application to an Employment Tribunal without the assistance of a lawyer and to attend the hearing unrepresented however it should be borne in mind that as the Employment Tribunal has the power to award unlimited compensation in favour of an applicant for sex discrimination, the stakes are high in sex discrimination compensation claims and the employer will almost certainly have experienced legal representation in the form of an expert solicitor or experienced barrister.
Direct & Indirect
Legally speaking there are two categories of sex discrimination. The illegal behaviour may be 'direct' which occurs when a person is treated differently because of gender and that treatment is obvious and undeniable however there is a more subtle form which is 'indirect' where obstacles are placed in the way of job applicants which deny them an equal opportunity. As an example if a job description required an applicant’s height to be at least 6 feet, clearly it would discriminate against a lot more women than men. There are however situations where positive discrimination is allowed as in the case of a same sex toilet attendant or a model for men’s or women’s clothing.
Gender Unique Condition
It is also unlawful for employers to terminate employment or treat the individual differently and unfavourably due to a gender unique condition. For example an individual cannot be dismissed for being pregnant or for going to antenatal appointments.
Sexual harassment has been defined as any unwanted conduct based on the grounds of an individuals gender. The Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 and Employment Rights Act 1996 protect employees from this kind of behaviour. The conduct does not have to sexual in nature however any behavior at work that is sexual in nature and is unwanted will constitute sexual harassment in the workplace. This type of treatment must have been carried out with the intention of violating dignity or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Damages payable in a sexual harassment compensation claim before the Employment Tribunal are unlimited.
The most common conduct which is in violation of the law that forms the basis for a sexual harassment compensation claim is sexual in nature and can include demeaning comments, indecent remarks, lewd jokes, provocative looks and language, verbal intimidation, demonstrative behaviour or language, sexual demands or sexual questions. Incidents of sexual harassment involving physical contact are criminal offences and should be dealt with by the police.
An employee should immediately report any behaviour of this nature to the employer who is duty bound to attempt to stop further incidents of sexual harassment. A company can however be held liable for sexual harassment by the Employment Tribunal in certain circumstances for a single incident even though they had no previous notice of the offenders propensity and character. It has also been ruled that an employee who resigns or is dismissed for other reasons can make an application for sexual harassment compensation at a later date after the employment has terminated. In addition an employer can be liable for incidents that take place at social gatherings involving employees occurring immediately after work or for an organised leaving party as these occasions were seen to be extensions of the workplace.