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Equality and Discrimination

Bringing claims for discrimination and breaches under the Equality Act 2010.

Whilst equality and discrimination cases are brought regularly in an Employment Tribunal, most people are less aware of their rights outside an employment context and when it comes to goods and services, public functions and higher education, colleges and universities.

Discrimination can take the form of direct discrimination, disability related discrimination, indirect discrimination, and failure to make a reasonable adjustment. It can also take the form of harassment or victimisation.

A simple failure to make reasonable adjustments to a provision, practice, criterion, or physical feature can constitute discrimination. This could be whilst out shopping, bus and rail travel, accommodation bookings, or housing complications to list a few.

Whilst litigation is often a last resort, unfortunately issues do arise that require expert advice and representation. At Chattertons Solicitors, our Equality experts have dealt with discrimination cases and breaches of the Equality Act 2010 for many years.

Our team always focus on helping our clients to resolve disputes and discrimination claims as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. Where necessary, we will address these types of disputes in a way that helps to preserve any ongoing relationships.

Our equality and discrimination expertise

Our equality and discrimination solicitors handle all kinds of discrimination claims including:

  • Age discrimination
  • Sex discrimination
  • Disability discrimination
  • Discrimination due to Gender-Reassignment
  • Race discrimination
  • Discrimination due to marriage or civil partnerships
  • Discrimination due to religion or beliefs
  • Discrimination due to sexual orientation
  • Discrimination due to pregnancy and maternity

It is important not to let matters get out of hand. Being the victim of discrimination can be hugely upsetting and affect your confidence in the future.

Specialist advice at an early stage can prevent future incidences and help to raise awareness.

Speak to our equality and discrimination solicitors

If you would like to talk to one of our specialist Equality & Discrimination solicitors, please contact your local office or complete our online enquiry form.

Or if your enquiry relates to discrimination in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist Employment Law team

Our approach to resolving equality and discrimination matters

Many equality and discrimination claims can be resolved swiftly through open communication and alternative dispute resolution.

The main aim of our work is to ensure inclusion and accessibility in all goods and services areas, public functions, and education. We are often able to give preliminary advice about your rights without any fees involved. Very often, this will help you to resolve matters yourself.

Handling discrimination disputes

If our initial advice is not enough to resolve the dispute, we can help you to find a solution.

Wherever possible, we will write to a service provider advising them of their potential failings and suggesting suitable adjustments or changes in policy. As well as a compensatory award to try to resolve the issue.

Should this not be possible we will seek to pursue the Defendants through the necessary court procedures and claims are actionable by way of a claim in the county court, with the possibility of seeking declarations, injunctions and damages for injury to feelings.

We understand that incidences of discrimination can be stressful and upsetting and our experts are here to assist you through the process to ensure better accessibility and services in the future.

What are the four types of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010?

According to the Equality Act 2010, there are four main types of discrimination which you should be aware of. These are:

  • Direct discrimination
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation

Direct discrimination

Direct discrimination occurs where a person is treated differently or less favourably because of:

  • A protected characteristic they possess
  • A protected characteristic someone they associate with possesses
  • A protected characteristic they are assumed to possess, regardless of whether or not this is accurate

It is important to note that it does not matter if someone is intentionally discriminated against. Even if direct discrimination occurred unintentionally, a claim could still be brought forward.

Indirect discrimination

Indirect discrimination can be harder to identify than direct discrimination. It typically occurs where a practice, policy or rule is put in place which applies to everyone in the same way, but puts some at a particular disadvantage.

A ‘practice, policy or rule’ can be both formal or informal and will include arrangements, criteria, conditions, qualifications, and provisions.

Harassment

Harassment refers to unwanted conduct that is related to a specific characteristic. It will have the effect of violating an individuals’ dignity or creating a hostile environment for them.

Victimisation

Victimisation occurs where someone suffers a detriment because they are taking action under the Equality Act 2010. ‘Taking action’ could refer to:

  • Making an allegation of discrimination
  • Supporting someone else’s allegation of discrimination
  • Providing evidence relating to a complaint about discrimination
  • Carrying out any other action under the Equality Act 2010

What are the nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010?

According to the Equality Act, there are nine protected characteristics. These are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Can you take someone to court for discrimination?

If you are a victim of discrimination, and you are unable to come to an agreement with the individual or organisation responsible, you may be able to take someone to court via a claim. This is something our expert equality and discrimination solicitors can discuss with you further.

Why work with our equality and discrimination solicitors?

Our dispute resolution solicitors have a wealth of combined experience and expertise in handling a wide range of disputes, including circumstances in relation to equality and discrimination. Our team are skills in securing early resolutions to various matters, securing favourable settlements before court hearings are scheduled.

We are proponents of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration and medication, which often prove to be effective ways of reducing the potential for cases to head to court.

However, if court proceedings are required to secure a positive outcome, we have the skills to ensure your rights are protected and you receive robust representation at all times.

The team is led by our equality and discrimination expert Carrie Clewes. Carrie has extensive experience and knowledge in acting on a wide range of litigation matters under the Equality Act, providing a comprehensive services that combines empathy and efficiency.

Speak to our equality and discrimination solicitors

If you would like to talk to one of our specialist Equality & Discrimination solicitors, please contact your local office or complete our online enquiry form.

Or if your enquiry relates to discrimination in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist Employment Law team