Can you Make a Claim if You’re not Invited to a Workplace Social Event?

Author:
Anita North
National Head of Employment
Date:
30/05/2022

Being treated unfairly at work can be upsetting and hurtful.

In the recent widely reported case of Ms R Leher v Aspers (Stratford City) Ltd and Others it was held that Ms Leher was unfairly dismissed, victimised and suffered from race and age discrimination. The acts complained of had continued over a long period despite Ms Leher raising grievances. She had missed out on training opportunities and promotions, and was unfortunately treated less favourably for rightly complaining about her treatment.

Ms Lehar also complained that she was excluded from a social event that took place outside of work.  On the facts of the case, the Tribunal ruled that Ms Leher “lost the opportunity to bond with colleagues”.

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What is Discrimination in the Workplace?

There are different ways in which employees may be discriminated against at work, and this could happen inside or outside of your actual place of work.

Discrimination in the workplace is where someone is treated less favourably because of their protected characteristic. Under the Equality Act are nine protected characteristics.  You must not be discriminated against because of your:

    • Age
    • Disability
    • gender reassignment
    • marriage and civil partnership
    • pregnancy and maternity
    • race
    • religion or belief
    • sex

What Steps can you Take if you Believe You’re Being Discriminated Against at Work?

If you are at all unhappy with something that’s happened in the workplace you should first of all discuss the issue with your line manager. If this does not resolve the matter, the next step would be to raise a concern via your company’s grievance procedure. 

You should keep a record of any incidents as they occur, in as much detail as possible, noting times, dates and any witnesses.  If the incident takes place via electronic means, you should try and keep a copy of those communications too.  

If you have raised issues with your employer but are still unhappy and maybe things are bad enough that you want to leave, it’s worth contacting our team of specialist employment solicitors who have years of experience, helping people like you.

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