• What is sex discrimination?
  • What types of sex discrimination are there?
  • Defences to sex discrimination
  • How long do I have to submit a claim for sex discrimination?
  • How do I make a complaint of race discrimination to the Employment Tribunal?

What is sex discrimination?

Under section 11 of the Equality Act 2010 sex is a protected characteristic. “Sex” means either being female or male.

What types of sex discrimination are there?

  • Direct sex discrimination – you are being (or have been) treated less favourably than other comparable workers because of your gender.
  • Indirect sex discrimination – a provision, criterion or practice has been applied to the whole or a part of the workforce which puts workers of a particular gender at a particular disadvantage and does (or would) in fact put you at a disadvantage. Example: your employer puts in place certain working requirements which means that women with children are disadvantaged (i.e. the requirement that all workers must work weekends).
  • Sex-related harassment – you’re being subjected to unwanted conduct because of your gender which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for you or violating your dignity. Example: a co-worker continually makes derogatory remarks about women. This is different to sexual harassment – sexual harassment requires conduct of a sexual nature.

Defences to sex discrimination

Once direct sex discrimination or sex-related harassment has been proven they cannot be justified.

Indirect sex discrimination can be justified by your employer if they demonstrate that the discriminatory act was legitimate and proportionate.

How long do I have to submit a claim for sex discrimination?

You have 3 months less 1 day from the date of the date of the discriminatory action to make a complaint to the Employment Tribunal.

How do I make a complaint of race discrimination to the Employment Tribunal?

The ET1 form must be submitted to the relevant Employment Tribunal (see the postcode list to determine which is the relevant Employment Tribunal) within the relevant time limits.

There are two ways that a claim can be approached:

  • You can either choose to do this yourself (i.e. a Claimant in person); or
  • Instruct specialist employment solicitors to do this on your behalf (possibly on a no-win, no-fee agreement)

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