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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

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National disability strategy launched

05 August 2021

The government has published its promised national disability strategy setting out various steps it will take to remove barriers faced by disabled people in their lives. This article looks at the main work-related measures.

Sexual harassment

New duties to prevent sexual harassment – but not yet

29 July 2021

The government has committed to introducing a new proactive duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment, alongside considering new laws which would make employers liable if third parties harass their employees and possibly extending the time limit in which to bring discrimination claims. It is likely to be some time, however, before any changes are put into effect.

Gender Pay Gap

Employer loses discrimination claim after trying to reduce gender pay gap

28 July 2021

An Employment Tribunal decision involving an ad agency has highlighted the dangers for employers of taking an overly aggressive approach to reducing gender pay gaps. It also provides a reminder that all discrimination is unlawful, even where the victims are from a historically privileged group.

social media

Protecting staff from social media abuse as important as protecting your brand: Hannah Price and James Storke comment for International Employment Lawyer

16 July 2021

On 11 July 2021, football fans across Europe came together to witness England take on Italy in the final of Euro 2020 at Wembley stadium. An engaging match swayed back and forth between the two sides before eventually going to penalties, where the Italians emerged victorious after three England players missed their spot kicks.

Office

The test for equal pay comparisons - going back to the source: Carolyn Soakell writes for PLC Magazine

29 June 2021

In what might be the last ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in a UK equal pay case, the ECJ has confirmed that female staff working in Tesco stores can rely directly on the EU “single source” test in order to compare themselves to men working in distribution centres (K and others v Tesco Stores Ltd C-624/19).

Diversity leadership – why Gareth Southgate has played a blinder

16 June 2021

There are instructive lessons for business leaders and diversity managers in the way the England manager has conducted himself in the run-up to and early stages of the European football championship.

‘Gender critical’ beliefs are protected philosophical beliefs

16 June 2021

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled that “gender critical” beliefs are protected philosophical beliefs for equality law purposes, while confirming that a belief in “gender identity” is also a protected characteristic. This means that it is unlawful to discriminate against someone because they do or do not hold either of those beliefs.

Ethnicity pay gap

Reporting Ethnicity Pay Gaps Recommended for UK Employers: Tom Heys comments for SHRM

04 June 2021

The U.K.'s Commission for Racial and Ethnicity Disparity recently recommended that all employers voluntarily report pay gaps among ethnic groups to identify and rectify disparities.

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