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Sexual Discrimination, Harassment or Victimisation at Work: Legal Pointers

 25/03/2019    Last Modified: 25/03/2019

Please remember if you would like to talk to the Women in Arboriculture Group about a situation you or a colleague are experiencing working in the industry we can be contacted on wia@trees.org.uk

  • Under The Equality Act 2010 (the "Act"), you are protected from sexual discrimination, harassment or victimisation at work because of your sex or sexual orientation.
  • If you decide to bring a claim under the Act, it should be submitted to an employment tribunal within three months of the incident(s). You should seek formal legal advice at this stage but useful guidance can be found on the Government Equalities Office Website.
  • If you are successful with a claim the employment tribunal may make an award of compensation.
  • You are protected under the Act regardless of whether you are a full-time employee, unpaid intern, or a contract worker.
  • You are also protected in relation to all aspects of your job, including recruitment, training, promotions, transfers and dismissals.

Under the Act it is unlawful for an employer to:

  • Discriminate directly = treat you 'less favourably' because you are a woman.
  • Discriminate indirectly. For example by enforcing a 'provision or practice' on all their employees, but the nature of that provision or practice puts you (and the other female employees) at a disadvantage.
  • Subject you to harassment because you are a woman. Harassment can be anything from unwanted sexual conduct that violates your dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading or humiliating environment for you.
  • Victimise you because you have made or intend to make a sex discrimination complaint under the Act.
  • If another employee discriminates against or harasses you, your employer will be liable unless they have taken 'reasonable steps' to prevent such conduct taking place. You may also have a claim against the other employee.

Before you bring any claim you should write a letter to your employer informing them of the incident(s).

Topics:
Women In Arboriculture, abuse, discrimination, harassment, victimisation