The Employment Equality Sexual Orientation Regulations 2003 makes sexual orientation discrimination unlawful. An employer is not allowed to discriminate against workers based on their sexual orientation nor their perceived sexual orientation nor when the employee has associates with a perceived preference.
The Employment Equality Sexual Orientation Regulations 2003 protect the rights of lesbians, bisexuals, heterosexuals and homosexuals. An employer’s viewpoint of an individual’s sexual orientation, whether incorrect or correct is irrelevant, the sole determination is if discrimination took place. Throughout the entire process of employment, the regulations provide protection including recruitment, employment, wages, promotions, bonuses and benefits.
Note: Sexual practices, including sadomasochism, bondage and others tenancies are not included in The Employment Equality Sexual Orientation Regulations 2003 and cannot not be the basis of a solicitors case in the Birmingham Employment Tribunal.
The regulations designate four basic types of sexual orientation discrimination:
Direct Discrimination includes practices of unchallengeable and obvious treatment that is unfair to a worker based on a perceived or actual sexual orientation.
Indirect Discrimination is comparable to direct discrimination however it is different because it affects a particular group of employees in subtle or clever ways.
Harassment includes bully-boy type conduct, hostile actions and/or verbal abuse focused on an employee due to their sexual orientation or perceived orientation, which could take the form of comments and lewd jokes to threats or intimidation of bodily injury.
Victimisation takes place when detrimental actions are taken by the employer or by co-workers after an employee indicates an intention to make application to a Civil Court or to the Birmingham Employment Tribunal, or has promised to assist or support someone else in a sexual orientation bias or discrimination case.
In rare cases, employers might receive an exception for “genuine occupational requirement”. One example might entail an employer who believes the only person that can fill the position in question must be a certain orientation. That exception can only be credible in organisations with the "ethos based on religion or belief." The employer must show compelling evidence that the policy for a distinct sexual orientation was established to “comply with the doctrines of the religion" or "to avoid conflicting with the strongly held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion's followers" to successfully implement the exception.
When circumstances in your workplace indicate a pattern of abuse or discrimination caused by your perceived or actual sexual orientation, it’s time to take action. First you should speak to the offender in the presence of their supervisor, if the conduct continues, make a formal complaint, and then call our solicitors office to get guidance from an expert employment lawyer. Your solicitor will attempt negotiations with your employer, if that fails they will make application to the Birmingham Employment Tribunal on your behalf. Successful claims can be significant because there are no limits on compensation awards for sexual orientation claims.
Our employment law solicitors deal with compensation claims heard by the Birmingham Employment Tribunal by using the risk free no win no fee scheme. You do not have to pay anything upfront and in the unlikely event that you do not receive compensation, you will not be charged any legal costs. If you would like legal advice without further obligation from an experienced employment solicitor just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices.