What is victimisation?

The definition of victimisation is contained within s.27 of the Equality Act 2010. Under s.27 victimisation occurs if:

“A person (A) victimises another person (B) if A subjects B to a detriment because—
(a) B does a protected act, or
(b) A believes that B has done, or may do, a protected act”

The person doing the protected act (or intending to) must be acting in good faith for their actions to be deemed a protected act.

What is a detriment?

A detriment is any act which disadvantages you. This can range from demotion, to the docking of pay, to demotion. However, a detriment can also be subtle, such as the refusing of requests for holiday on particular dates.

How do I prove detriment?

Detriment, as stated above, can be fairly obvious. If you’ve been dismissed then its fairly clear on the facts that you’ve suffered a detriment. However, what’s important (as explained) below is showing a causal link between the detriment that you’ve suffered and the protected act that you’ve undertaken (or will undertake / are thought to be undertaking).

If the detriment is more subtle then it is recommended that you keep a good diary of any actions taken towards you and keep copy of documentary evidence (such as emails, letters etc.). You may even wish to record conversations with people that you believe are victimizing you.

What is a protected act?

What a “protected act” is is set out in s.15(2) of the Equality Act 2010. It includes:

  • Bringing proceedings under the Act
  • Giving evidence or info in connection with bringing proceedings under  the Act
  • Doing any other thing for the purposes of or in connection with the Act
  • Making an allegation that A or another person has contravened the Act

How do I prove that the detriment was because of the protected act?

Whether its possible to prove that the detriment was because of your protected act depends upon the facts of the particular circumstances. Your employer could argue, for example, that you’ve been dismissed or demands because of a company reorganization or because of underperformance rather than your protected act. However, your employer would have to advance evidence that confirmed that the redundancy process (for example) was genuine and that a fair decision had been undertaken.

How long do I have to make a claim for victimisation?

You have 3 months less 1 day from the date of the victimisation (i.e. the refusal to grant you holiday on a particular date) to make a complaint to the Employment Tribunal. However, complaints of victimisation tend to have multiple incidents of detriment so there may be different limitation dates in each case.

How do I make a claim for victimisation?

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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