Race Discrimination Solicitors - UK Employment Compensation Caim Advice

SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0344 414 0018

The Race Relations Act 1976 protects individuals from racial discrimination on the grounds of colour, race, ethnicity, nationality and national origin. The legislation applies throughout England, Wales and Scotland. Similar legislation applies to Northern Ireland. In addition to employees, the legislation also covers contract workers, the self-employed and job applicants. All of these individuals are protected from racial discrimination, harassment and victimisation in employment matters. The Race Relations Act 1976 covers recruitment including refusals, offers of employment and the terms on which the employment is offered, all issues related to promotions including training, benefits, facility access and transfer and dismissal, which includes refusal to renew a fixed-term contract. Our race discrimination solicitors offer advice at no cost and with no further obligation. Our solicitors use the no win no fee scheme and you pay no legal charges unless you succeed in obtaining compensation. Legal costs are a fixed percentage of the amount of the compensation award and are agreed between you and your solicitor before action commences in the Employment Tribunal.

Offensive Behaviour

The offending party's intent or lack thereof is irrelevant. That is, it does not matter whether or not the action being complained of was committed with intent to cause offence. If the employee who was subjected to the behaviour finds it offensive and feels harmed, then it still potentially constitutes racial discrimination. Typical racial discrimination comprises a series of offensive actions rather than one incident. However, if one isolated incident is exceptionally unpleasant, then there may be strong enough grounds for a solicitor to take action in the Employment Tribunal.

Prejudice & Discrimination

Racial discrimination in the workplace is not the same as prejudice which depends not on a person's opinion, but it refers to any biased actions actually carried out and is unlawful under the current legislation. It is not necessary to show that another persons actions were deliberately intended, it is merely sufficient to show that their effect caused harm and that you received less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins as a result of what they did.

Race Discrimination Act?

You may be surprised to learn that the 'Race Discrimination Act' doesn't actually exist (unless you live in Australia) but the requisite legal protection is actually contained in the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. Both of these statutes cover any unfair treatment which targets an individual because of race, colour, nationality, citizenship or ethnic origin in matters relating to employment, housing, education and the provision of goods and services :-


      Under English law all employees, regardless of race can expect to be treated in the same way. This prohibition on race discrimination covers every area of work such as training programs, promotion, selection, recruitment, salaries, pay and benefits. Similarly Trade Unions are also required to adhere to these standards and treat all of their members equally.


      When a person is in the market to rent or buy a property it is also against the law to discriminate against them because of their race, colour, citizenship, nationality or ethnic origin. Evictions for the same reasons are also illegal.


      Discrimination by a Local Education Authority, school, college or university against an individual it is also against the law.

    Goods and Services

      Regardless of whether goods or services are paid for or are free it is illegal for an individual to be given goods or services the quality of which depends on their race.

Direct & Indirect Discrimination

Race discrimination incidents can be divided into two main categories :-

  1. Direct

      Direct refers to any incident where an individual suffers discrimination because of their race, nationality, citizenship, colour or ethnic origin. This can also take the form of any unfavourable comments made with regard to a persons race.

  2. Indirect

      Indirect is classed as any requirement within the workplace which puts people of a particular race at a disadvantage because of their race, ethnic group or nationality and as a result makes it hard for them to meet this requirement. For instance, an advert stating that applicants must have short hair would certainly exclude some religious groups, such as Sikhs. It is against the law to make such demands on potential applicants unless the job conditions make it necessary to ask for such specifics.

Constructive Discrimination

An employer can evade legal action for a race discrimination compensation claim if they can demonstrate a "genuine occupational qualification" for making such a demand that would usually be classed as race discrimination. This subject is relevant with regards to the recruitment process. For instance, a Christian church may request that only Christian applicants fill an official position. A Chinese restaurant may want genuine Chinese waiters for authenticity. A ladies or gents toilet may require staffing by only the same sex. This type of situation can be difficult to advise on without going into the specifics of a case, so anyone concerned about this type of treatment should contact a legal expert.

Racial Harassment

Racial harassment is defined as aggression based on differences of race. Further explanation can be found in the Race Relations Act of 1976, wherein it is referred to as hostile behaviour triggered by racial factors. Racial harassment can take various forms including :-

  • name-calling
  • bullying
  • racist jokes
  • verbal abuse
  • unprovoked physical assaults
  • racist graffiti
  • arson or attempted arson

Racial harassment may occur at work and be aimed at a certain employee because of race, citizenship, ethnic origin or colour. The instigators of the unlawful abuse as well as their employer can find themselves not only in the Employment Tribunal or the civil courts defending a claim for damages but also in the criminal courts facing serious charges which can result in a sentence of imprisonment.

Those who belong to an ethnic minority are usually the ones who have to put up with racial persecution however there are some cases where both the victim and persecutor belong to the same ethnic group. This can still be classified as a violation of race relations legislation.

Racial Victimisation

Racial victimisation occurs when a victim is treated less favourably because they either take legal action or indicate that they intend to take legal action for race discrimination either in the Employment Tribunal or in a court of law. Racial victimisation is unlawful and a further claim for compensation can be added to the proceedings by our race discrimination solicitors. This protection also extends to witnesses of the alleged bad behaviour and to other employees who may voice their support for the victim.

Race Discrimination Solicitors

Our race discrimination solicitors deal with claims on behalf of employees relating to employment matters including advising on racial discrimination compensation claims. Our solicitors are experts in their field and where possible they negotiate settlement failing which they will make application to the Employment Tribunal to resolve any dispute. All claims are dealt with using the no win no fee scheme and there is no charge whatsoever if the case is lost - claims are totally risk free. If compensation is recovered on your behalf then costs are charged based on a percentage of the total sum recovered. This figure is agreed in advance and there are no hidden extras. You know exactly where you stand from the very beginning. If you would like to discuss your potential claim with a specialist employment lawyer with no charge and with no obligation just email our solicitors offices or use the helpline or complete and send the contact form.

SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0344 414 0018