Racial discrimination is covered under the Equality Act 2010 and employers must not unlawfully discriminate on the grounds of race.
Racial discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfairly due to race, colour, nationality, citizenship and ethnic or national origins. Every employee has protection from race discrimination at work. This includes:
There are numerous ways employers could unlawfully discriminate, which can include:
Direct racial discrimination occurs when an employee receives poor treatment due to race or perceived race. It can be a one-off or continuous situation. If the environment is consistently hostile, offensive or degrading to that employee, that’s racial harassment.
Indirect discrimination can occur when companies disadvantage certain racial groups through their policies and procedures.
Victimisation can occur when employees are punished or harassed due to making a complaint about discrimination in one way or another or if you have helped someone who has been the victim of discrimination.
But be aware there are times when there is an exception to the rule. If an employer shows that you need to be a particular race in order to do a certain job, they can insist on employing someone of that race. This is known as an occupational requirement and does not count as discrimination.
If you think you are being discriminated against or harassed because of your or another person’s race, then you should take action as soon as possible.
This article is not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek professional advice regarding any legal questions or concerns you may have.
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