Equality Matters

If you have suffered sex discrimination in the workplace, we understand the impact this may have had on you confidence, your career and your finances. We are here to help you. Employment Law Edinburgh is a team of expert employment lawyers powered by the experts at Thompsons solicitors. We have many years of experience in fighting sex discrimination cases on behalf of employees, to help them get the compensation they need to move on with their working lives. All of our lawyers are understanding, but will work tirelessly to ensure that we obtain the most successful outcome for your circumstances. We can often work with clients on a no win, no-fee basis and offer a free no obligation consultation. Sex discrimination claims are subject to strict time limits, so there really is no time to delay.

Contact us on 0131 322 1032 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you without delay. 

Sex Discrimination Lawyers Edinburgh 

Discrimination based on the gender of employees is illegal in the UK, under the Equality Act 2010. The protection afforded by the legislation to employees is extensive and covers not only recruitment, but also in terms of further training and being considered for promotion in the working environment.

We at Employment Law Edinburgh have a long history of working with employees who are concerned that they have been the subject of discrimination because of their gender. Employers are obliged to have a framework in place to guard against instances of gender discrimination, and procedures for dealing with complaints that an individual has been the subject of gender discrimination.

Gender Discrimination is quite complex and does not only cover instances where an individual is treated less well because of their gender, or the gender of those that they have good working relations with. Gender discrimination can include instances where a particular working practice which applies to all employees has a particularly damaging effect on individuals of a specific gender; where an individual is subjected to undesirable behaviour which has a negative impact on them or their environment; or where an employee is treated less well because they have complained of gender discrimination in the past, or have supported another's complaint.

It is always advisable that where you believe that where you believe that you have been the subject of discrimination because of your gender, you should discuss this with your employer. The hope is that the matter can be resolved without the need to resort to more formal legal measures. However if you believe that the matter must be brought before an Employment Tribunal, the team of specialist employment lawyers at Employment Law Edinburgh are ready to assist you. We draw on our insight and expertise in the field to pursue your claim, and aim to provide you with a just and satisfactory outcome.

What amounts to sex discrimination in the workplace? 

Sex discrimination legislation is very comprehensive and prevents your employer from operating discriminatory practices throughout the lifecycle of the employment relationship. All UK employers are required by law to ensure that their employment procedures, policies and practices treat individuals fairly and equally, regardless of whether they are male, female or non-binary.

When can sex discrimination take place? 

Your employer or a potential employer must not treat you less favourably because of your gender. Sex discrimination may occur at any point during the lifecycle of your work, and can happen during: 

  • The recruitment process and selection for a job role
  • Terms and conditions of work
  • When choosing employees for promotion
  • When providing or offering employees training, pay and benefits
  • Redundancy and dismissal

It is important to note that women who are pregnant or on maternity leave are also provided special protection from discrimination at work. 

What are the different types of sex discrimination? 

Sex discrimination can take different forms. The law protects workers from the following:

Direct Gender Discrimination – This type of discrimination occurs where an employee, worker or prosepctive employee is treated less well because of their gender, or as a result of the gender of people that they associate with at work

Indirect Gender Discrimination – Indirect gender discrimination describes the situation where a working practice or policy is designed to apply to all employees equally, but has a disproportionately negative impact on people of a certain gender.

Harassment – Harassment in the workplace describes the circumstances where a person is the object of offensive behaviour because of their gender. This can either have a negative impact on the individual themselves, making them feel humiliated or intimidated or the behaviour may create an uncomfortable working environment. 

Victimisation - An instance of Victimisation is where someone is treated negatively due to the fact that they had previously made a complaint regarding Gender Discrimination, or they have aided someone else in pursuing a complaint of Gender Discrimination in the workplace.

Can I bring a claim for equal pay? 

The Equal Pay Act 1970 and the Equality Act 2010 provide that employers must not give an employee more or less favourable employment contract terms to a person of the opposite sex in the same job role, or in a comparable job. While referred to as equal pay claims, contract terms may include: 

  • basic pay
  • bonuses
  • pensions
  • health insurance
  • commission
  • pay progression
  • severance pay
  • A company car
  • sick pay
  • holidays
  • extra allowances

This list is not exhaustive, and equal pay claims may extend to any difference in contract terms. 

Are there times when an employer may treat you differently because of your sex?

There are very limited circumstances where an employer may treat you differently on the grounds of your gender. Where an employer can demonstrate that you need to be of a particular sex to do a specific job, known as 'occupational requirement' , they may insist on only employing someone of that sex. A prolific example is where employers hire female counsellors in a women's refuge. 

Contact our Expert Sex and Gender Discrimination Lawyers, Edinburgh

If an employee believes that they have been the subject of Gender Discrimination, we at Employment Law Edinburgh, powered by Thompsons Solicitors, would always advise that they bring this to their employer's attention. The matter should be addressed informally where possible. However, if someone believes that their situation should be brought to the attention of an Employment Tribunal, the team at Employment Law Edinburgh will be able to help. Our specialist Employment lawyers are well regarded in the field for their expertise in dealing with discrimination cases and will be able to advise on how best to pursue your claim.

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