Are you thinking of making a race discrimination against your employer or are you an employer looking to protect yourself against a race discrimination claims? 
 
Very recently the leader of the UKIP party’s girlfriend made racist remarks about Meaghan Markel. Stories like this often hit the headlines and remind us that racism and discrimination is still very much part of our lives. 
 
A few weeks ago we were told about a Claimant who had been called a “fat ginger pikey”, “salad dodger” and “fat yoda”. His claim for race discrimination in the Employment Tribunal failed. Although the comments were clearly shocking, the Claimant was unsuccessful because the Tribunal took his failure to complain promptly to mean that he was not actually offended. However, the Tribunal could have found discrimination if the circumstances had been even slightly different. 
Due to the huge public shaming that has taken place over the last few weeks, Hollywood is now addressing its sexual harassment issues. Incidents involving high profile entertainers such as Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein have taken over headlines as well as our TVs and social media. 
 
But what about the sexual harassment that affects employees of non-famous employers? UK law provides a wide definition of sexual harassment, which protects employees from behaviours including inappropriate sexual comments and jokes, emails with sexual content and unwanted physical behaviour. Further, if an employee is treated unfavourably after reporting sexual harassment to their employer, they are also protected by victimisation laws. 
 
Earlier this year, former NHS Manager Helen Marks was awarded £832,711 in a high-profile case after being sexually harassed by a colleague. 
If you’ve not been directly affected by the ongoing bin collection dispute in Birmingham, you will certainly have heard about it in the press. This is my understanding of the dispute. Grade 2 rubbish collectors work in teams collecting rubbish across Birmingham. They are supervised by one Grade 3 collector who also collects rubbish but has additional health and safety responsibilities. In May, the Council decided to make 122 of these Grade 3 employees redundant. 
 
The Council say that the driver of the 12 tonne rubbish trucks could perform the health and safety role, which the Grade 3 employees are currently responsible for. So, Birmingham City Council are proposing to downgrade the existing Grade 3 employees or, if they refuse, make them redundant.  The impact on the employees is either a loss of £5,000 a year or redundancy. £5,000 is a lot of money to someone whose annual salary is £21,000. 
 
There are clearly two sides to this dispute and I suspect it will rumble on for some while. 

Do you know what your legal rights are if your employer imposes changes to your contract of employment? 

 
Quote by a male BBC actor - "Many men's salaries aren't just for them, it's for their wife and children, too." 
 
Last week, the BBC revealed details of what it pays its highest earners. 
 
Chris Evans was the highest paid male and received over £2m whereas the highest paid woman, Claudia Winkleman earned between £450,000 and £499,000.  The top four highest paid men collectively earned £5,500,000 compared to £1,749,996 earned by the top four highest paid women. 
These revelations are clearly concerning but have they really come as a shock?  A well-known male actor for the BBC appeared to defend the pay disparity when he reportedly made the comment "Many men's salaries aren't just for them, it's for their wife and children, too."  He has since apologised for his comments but is this what many other people believe?  Top female talent at the BBC appear to have believed for some time that they were not being paid equally to their male colleagues. They’ve tried to raise their concerns but say they have been brushed aside. 
On 26 July 2017, the highest Court in the UK ruled that Employment Tribunal fees were unlawful, unconstitutional and discriminatory. As a result, fees have been abolished and it has been held that any fee collected previously, was done so unlawfully. 
 
The fees were introduced in July 2013 and applied to all claims being lodged at the Employment Tribunal. For unfair dismissal or discrimination claims a fee of up to £1,200.00 was payable. Some less complex employment matters incurred a fee of £410 even when they didn’t seek a monetary award! 
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