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Equality & Diversity

An employee says she was racially harassed by a senior manager, and submits a lengthy grievance. An ex-employee brings an Employment Tribunal claim, saying he was forced to resign by a colleague who told him his sexual orientation offended his religion.

Your Board asks whether you have conducted an equal pay audit, and if not whether you should. You need to overhaul your diversity policies and training programmes.

Who do you turn to?

Our team has unrivalled strength in depth in advising on all issues related to equality and diversity, which include some of the most important and challenging on the HR and legal agenda today. These include:

  • Employment Tribunal litigation for discrimination based on sex (including equal pay), pregnancy / maternity, race, disability, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or gender reassignment, and associated claims for harassment and victimisation
  • Advice on any issue with an equality / diversity angle, such as handling the exit of a persistent poor performer with a suspected disability, complex grievances, and redundancy dismissals impacting maternity leavers
  • Advice on “family friendly” matters: policies on maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave and pay; requests for flexible working; time off for dependants; and issues around surrogacy and IVF
  • Equal pay is gaining a higher profile, as Tribunals have new powers to order equal pay audits, and mandatory gender pay gap reporting comes into effect. In addition to our experience in dealing with complex equal pay disputes, we help clients conduct equal pay reviews and audits and manage the associated (and significant) legal risks, and can assist in complying with pay gap reporting obligations
  • Our dedicated training team is experienced in conducting manager training on equal opportunities, diversity, family rights and flexible working, and training for all staff on their equality obligations. This can have an exclusively UK focus, or where desired we can make this relevant for cross-border workforces

Related items


Ethnicity pay gap reporting and intersectionality

17 May 2022

The government has said that ethnicity pay gap reporting won’t be mandatory, but many employers are choosing to do it anyway, adding ethnicity pay gap reporting to their existing obligation to report gender pay gaps each year. But what about the intersection of ethnicity AND gender?

Financial Conduct Authority launches new diversity targets with comply or explain obligation

17 May 2022

The FCA has taken another step towards improving board diversity and inclusion with the introduction of new ethnic and gender diversity targets for listed companies, and an accompanying obligation on firms to comply or explain.

Ciara Fulton speaking at Legal Island’s Diversity and Inclusion Summit 2022

05 May 2022

Legal Island present the Diversity and Inclusion Summit 2022 - A Close Look at Inclusive Leadership and the Practical Tools of D&I.

Flexible working - the right to ask

08 April 2022

Employees seeking a better balance between the demands of work and personal life may seek a change in their working arrangements – for example, through part-time working, job-sharing or a change in working hours. While there is no right to insist on working in a different way, there is a statutory right to ask for a flexible working arrangement and to have that request seriously considered.

Maternity leave and pay

25 March 2022

The law recognises employees on maternity leave as being particularly vulnerable and gives them special protection. As a result, employers need to be careful to make sure they comply with their legal obligations in this area. This Inbrief summarises the rights that employees on maternity leave enjoy and looks at some common problem areas.

Family rights

25 March 2022

Employees who have parental responsibility for a child are afforded certain legal rights in order to protect and support their role as parents. In this Inbrief, we summarise the basic legal position on maternity and adoption, shared parental leave, paternity leave, parental leave, time off for dependents and flexible working, referred to collectively as “family rights”.

Stack of folders

Ireland: The use of non-disclosure agreements in discrimination and sexual harassment disputes under scrutiny

09 March 2022

Non-Disclosure Agreements (“NDAs”) have received a lot of media attention in recent times, in particular in the context of sexual harassment disputes and the #MeToo movement. In response to the growing public awareness of the potentially unethical use of NDAs, the Government has published a report on the prevalence and use of NDAs in discrimination and sexual harassment disputes (the “Report”).


Gender pay gap reporting in Ireland: first details announced

08 March 2022

The proposed relevant dates for Ireland’s new gender pay gap reporting regulations have been announced.

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