How to seek justice if you’ve been discriminated against at work

If you are the victim of discrimination at work, it can feel like a desperate situation. But things can be put right and you may want expert legal advice to do it.

Not sure what you need?

Request a callback at a time that is convenient to you, or call us 24/7 on 0808 159 9899

Latest figures revealed by the BBC show the gender pay gap is widening. Whether you’re a female employee getting paid less than a male colleague for doing the same job, or from an ethnic minority and being refused the same training prospects as your workmates, you can seek advice from First4Lawyers.

What is discrimination at work?

Discrimination at work happens when an employer treats a person, or group, less favourably than others in the work place. There are specific types of discrimination that the law considers unlawful in line with the Equality Act 2010. These include:

  • Gender (includes those undergoing gender reassignment)
  • Race, colour, nationality or ethnic background
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity leave
  • Religion or belief
  • Disability
  • Age

Types of discrimination

  • Direct discrimination
    This is when an employer treats you less favourably than someone else because of who you are.
  • Indirect discrimination
    This one can be more difficult to identify, but broadly speaking it's when you are treated the same as others, but it causes you disadvantage because of who you are.

I have a disability – what are my rights?

If you have a disability, then you have the same rights as others in the workplace. Your employer has a legal obligation to make “reasonable adjustments”, such as:

  • Providing forms in Braille or audio formats.
  • Granting extra time to complete aptitude tests.
  • Installing the right equipment and facilities for disabled workers or someone offered a job – e.g. wheelchair access, disabled toilets.

How long do I have to take legal action for discrimination?

If you believe you are the victim of unlawful discrimination, you should seek legal guidance as soon as possible.

To go to an employment tribunal, for example, you need to make a claim within three months of being discriminated against.

If the discrimination takes place over a period of time, the time limit starts at the end of that period. The discrimination is said to be continuing.

First it's best to try and sort out the problem informally with your employer, but if that's not possible you will need to go through ACAS early conciliation before going to tribunal.  While you do this, the time limit is paused so doesn't affect the three month rule.

Why choose First4Lawyers?

Expert legal services for your individual needs - whether it's for home, family or work.

Free initial case review
Discuss - Orange - Small

Our fully trained legal advisors are happy to offer initial guidance and advice for free

Fixed price consultation
NWNF - Orange - Small

Phone or face-to-face meeting with a legal expert from just £149

No pressure
Manage - Orange - Small

We offer advice with no obligation.  We never cold-call or apply pressure to our customers

Get in Touch

I'm worried about talking to my employer - what should I do?

Your employer has a legal responsibility to make you and all of your colleagues aware of the reporting procedures for discrimination. If they do not provide an adequate grievance procedure for you and others to follow, this could give you grounds for further claims against them.

What will I get out of legal action?

Our employment lawyers will help you work out the value of your complaint and this figure can be used to negotiate with your employer, or go to tribunal.

If you go to employment tribunal and your claim is successful, your employer may be ordered to pay you compensation.  This can cover financial loss, as well as emotional injury and stress.


I need legal help with my discrimination case – what's next?

Work discrimination cases can get very complicated, so getting help from specialist employment solicitors is advisable.  Get in touch and we will assess your case for free and advise you of your next steps.

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements 08005677866

Do you have a legal question?

  • Get it answered within 60 minutes when you call during normal office hours.
  • Free initial advice from our trained legal advisors.

Customers rate us 'excellent'

We have a five star score from thousands of reviews on Trustpilot

Read reviews

How to guides

Learn about this area of law and what you need to know:

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements 08005677866

It seems you are using an outdated browser.

This will impair your browsing experience around the web. Please visit one of the links below to update to a modern browser then re-open the site with the new browser.

Thank you


Can't find what you are looking for?

We are open as normal during the Coronavirus lockdown and are able to help with all your legal needs.

Call us free of charge

0800 567 7866

Request a Callback

Continue browsing