Discrimination & equal pay

Discrimination & equal pay

"This 'efficient and commercial outfit advises a stellar client list on tribunal claims and restructuring exercises'"

Chambers UK 2012

Thanks to the internet and social media, individuals are more aware of their rights than ever before.

The law relating to discrimination and equal pay is complex, providing job applicants, employees, contractors and others with extensive legal protection.

Compliance is important, not only to avoid costly litigation, but also because staff, customers, shareholders and the public expect organisations to take equality seriously and to act fairly, within the law. 

Unfortunately, we know that it is all too easy for employers to fall foul of their myriad obligations - not helped by the fact that the law seems to change on a regular basis in this area.

Not only can discrimination and equal pay claims result in unwelcome negative publicity for an employer, the compensation available to individuals is potentially unlimited.

We believe prevention is better than cure, and try to provide clients with the right tools to ensure they do not come unstuck in the first place, including:

  • getting the right policies and contractual terms in place
  • regularly training HR, managers, and the wider workforce

However, if the worst happens and an employer finds itself facing a discrimination or equal pay claim, we have highly experienced specialists to help mount your defence, to negotiate settlements where desirable, and navigate the litigation process with the least disruption possible to your business. 

Work highlights

  • delivering equal pay workshops to both HR and managers
  • providing training to management teams in relation to equal opportunities law and discrimination
  • supporting various organisations in the management of a number of situations where discrimination has been alleged; for example, advising on: terminating the employment of a probationer for poor performance, where the probationer alleged that her race was the reason why her performance was being managed; dismissal of a longstanding employee because of alleged sexual impropriety with students where race discrimination was raised as an issue
  • management of employees with both physical and mental health impairments, as well as in relation to sex and maternity-related discrimination
  • defending multiple discrimination grievance and claims including race/age/sex/sexual orientation and marital status
  • successfully defending a claim for race/age/sex/marital status discrimination claim, including obtaining a costs order against the claimant for £10,000
  • appealing to the EAT a finding by an employment tribunal that an employer failed to make reasonable adjustments by requiring a disabled employee with a bad back and carpel tunnel syndrome to undergo a competency based interview in relation to recruitment to alternative employment arising out of redundancy
  • successfully defending a tribunal claim for disability discrimination claim in relation to a failure to make reasonable adjustments to allow home working when employee suffered from a bad back
  • defending equal pay claims challenging job evaluation pay schemes carried out under HERA and HAY