Racial Discrimination at Work Claims

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Facing race discrimination at any point in your life is very upsetting, but suffering from racial discrimination at work is even more distressing because of the amount of time you spend there.

You don’t have to accept being discriminated at work because of your race and you can make a claim against your employer if this has happened to you.

Our specialist team of Employment Law Solicitors have years of experience helping people who have experienced race discrimination at work.

We offer initial legal advice about your situation and can explain what options you have. Speak to one of our Employment Law Solicitors who will be able to help.

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More information on Race Discrimination at Work

The Equality Act 2010 says that it is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of their race. This includes employees, job applicants or trainees and includes colour, nationality or national origin and ethnicity.

You don’t need to be working for an employer to be subjected to race discrimination and people who’ve applied for job roles but been unsuccessful can also make a claim.

Your employer should have policies and procedures in place to stop race discrimination in lots of activities they carry out. They are:

  • In recruitment and selection
  • In promotions
  • In pay decisions
  • In terms and conditions of employment
  • In disciplinary matters and grievances
  • When stopping bullying
  • When someone is dismissed.

Race is a Protected Characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. That means that your employer cannot discriminate against you because of your race.

Four Types of Race Discrimination

There are four types of race discrimination you could face at work. They are:

Direct Discrimination

This breaks down further into three more subsections. You can face direct discrimination because of your actual race, direct discrimination by perception because of your perceived race and direct discrimination by association because of the race of someone you associate with.

Indirect Discrimination

This is discrimination because of a particular practice, policy or workplace rule made by your employer that applies to everyone but disadvantages you because of your race. A good example of this would be an employer that asks for GCSE’s but won’t accept equivalent qualifications.


This is when you have had unwanted conduct that related to your race and that it violated your dignity or created an environment that was intimidating, degrading, humiliating, offensive or hostile for you.


If you make a claim for race discrimination at work or you support someone who has made a complaint, you could be victimised at work as a result.

What You Can Do about Race Discrimination at Work

Your employer should have policies and procedures in place to stop you being discriminated against because of your race.

You should review and follow these procedures to report the issues to your line manager. This is the informal way of approaching the issue. If you prefer, you can use your employers internal procedures, including raising a grievance.

If you can’t resolve the race discrimination you are facing at work informally, you can start a claim at an Employment Tribunal.

Important Points to Note

Race discrimination issues can arise before your employment starts, during your time with your employment and also in connection with termination of employment. Racial discrimination in the workplace can involve direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation. 

You don’t have to have a particular length of service with an employer to make a race discrimination claim.

An award of compensation from an Employment Tribunal can include loss of earnings and damages for injury to feelings. You can also make a claim against your employer and the person who is harassing or discriminating against you.

Claim Time Limits

You only have three months from the date of the discriminatory act, or the last in a series of acts to make a claim. This does include any acts that occurred within three months of your employment ending. 

As with all employment law claims, you will need to complete the Early Conciliation Process with ACAS before you take your claim to an Employment Tribunal. This is completed with the aim of settling your claim.

Make sure you get specialist legal advice as early as possible because of the short time limit in place.

Because of the complicated nature of race discrimination claims and the law, our expert Employment Lawyers can help you to understand your position and explain the next steps you could take. Call us today for an initial discussion about your situation.

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