Indirect discrimination is where a practice, rule or policy in place has a worse effect on some people than others.
Essentially, if the policy applies to everyone in the same way but puts someone (or a particular group) at a disadvantage, it’s indirect discrimination.
It’s defined under the Equality Act 2010 and if something has a worse effect on you because of a protected characteristic, it’s classed as indirect discrimination. These characteristics include:
- Gender reassignment
- Sexual orientation
- Religion or belief
- Marriage or civil partnership
What Is Indirect Discrimination?
Indirect discrimination is where a policy, rule or practice has a worse effect on you (or a particular group) than others.
A practice, policy or rule can be a one-off decision, a plan for the future, an arrangement, conditions, qualifications, and a whole range of things.
The key when it comes to indirect discrimination is that it applies to everyone in the same way, so in essence, it appears to be ‘neutral’.
Because if the rule only applies to some people who have the same protected characteristic (age, for example), then it would be classed as direct discrimination.
Indirect discrimination is a slightly more nuanced area of the law, which means that it might not always be obvious that the rule discriminates against you.
When Is Indirect Discrimination Acceptable?
Indirect discrimination is a complex area of law and as such, there are times when it can be lawful.
The onus is on the person or organisation applying the practice, rule or policy to demonstrate that there is a good enough reason for it to be in place. And they may also need to be able to prove it in court.
This process is known as ‘objective justification’ – so it’s worth seeking legal advice about your particular circumstances to see whether you have a solid case.
At Solicitors Near Me, we know that indirect discrimination can seem like a minefield, which is why we want to make it as simple as possible for you to get the legal advice you need.
Indirect Discrimination Examples
Lots of different rules could fall into the trap of being indirect discrimination. One example is if there is an expectation that all staff work on a Saturday.
As Saturday is the sabbath for the Jewish faith, this puts anyone who is Jewish at a disadvantage.
Or perhaps a clause in your employment contract stipulates that you must occasionally travel at short notice as part of your work. If you’re a woman, this is more likely to disadvantage you than a man because the likelihood is that you are more responsible for childcare.
Of course, this isn’t always the case and there shouldn’t be assumptions made, but the statistics indicate that women are more likely to be carers of children.
Indirect Discrimination Solicitors Near Me
At Solicitors Near Me, we know how difficult indirect discrimination can be to deal with.
It can be a particularly complex area of law which may need expert advice to understand the strength of your case… which is where we can help.
We connect you with expert employment discrimination solicitors near you for FREE so that you can get the help and advice you need with your grievance procedure – whether you’re in the process, considering it, or unsure what your best option is.
You’re under no obligation to press ahead with the solicitor we connect you with and until you decide to proceed, everything is completely FREE.