Can I Claim for Race Discrimination at Work?

Yes, as race is one of the nine “Protected Characteristics” in the workplace. Workers are protected, under the Equality Act 2010, from being discriminated against, harassed or victimised while at work.

If you think you have been unfairly discriminated against you should consider taking legal action against your employer. However, it is advised that you attempt all other routes towards an outcome before you take legal action.

For free initial legal advice get in touch with our Employment Law Solicitors.

Call us on 0808 258 3531 or request a callback

What is Race Discrimination at Work?

If you’ve been treated less favourably at work because of your race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, then you’ve been a victim of racial discrimination. It can also be considered racial discrimination if you are treated unfairly because you are associated with someone of another race, such as your partner.

What Action Can I Take against Race Discrimination at Work?

Race discrimination can be direct or indirect and can take the form of harassment, victimisation or even violence. However, it might not be deliberate and a person might be discriminating against you without realising it.

You can take action against the person or persons by:

  • Making an informal complaint to try to resolve the problem
  • Make a formal complaint, known as a ‘grievance’
  • Going to an Employment Tribunal

Before taking any action, you should decide which approach is best for your situation.

Our Employment Law Solicitors have years of experience dealing with cases of discrimination at work. We can support you when making an informal complaint or a grievance process.

Similarly, we can negotiate with your employer so you can both come to an amicable settlement. If this fails, then we can issue proceedings and represent you during any legal process such as an Employment Tribunal.

When Could Race Discrimination Take Place at Work?

The majority of instances of race discrimination at work happen through bullying and harassment. In addition, there are many areas where workplace race discrimination can occur, but there are five in particular:


  • If an employer makes specific reference to any of the Protected Characteristics
  • An applicant is turned down for a job because they have non-UK qualifications
  • An employer might be asking for fluency in English, which is discriminatory against someone who doesn’t use English as a first language.

Pay, Terms and Conditions of Employment

  • It’s important that there are no terms and conditions of employment which put anyone at a disadvantage or exclude people because of their race, perceived race, or association with someone of a particular race.


  • If job adverts are shared only with people of a certain race, it would be discriminatory
  • If an employee is not promoted because it is felt, they would not fit in because of their race
  • If someone is not promoted because they have complained about discrimination before.


  • An employee who is denied training because of their race, perceived race or association with someone of a particular race, is discrimination.


  • If someone is dismissed because of race, this is unfair dismissal and is discriminatory.

How Simpson Millar Can Help You

If you believe you have been the victim of race discrimination at work, get in touch with our Employment Solicitors. But be advised, there are strict time limits for making a discrimination claim.

In workplace discrimination cases, you must lodge a claim within three months of the act or acts in question.

Get in touch with our Employment Solicitors

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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.