Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination at work includes:

- Being treated less favourably because of your race than others in similar circumstances

- Racist abuse and/or harassment

- Company rules and regulations that cannot be justified on non-racial grounds, e.g. a ban on headwear in the workplace discriminates against Sikh men who wear turbans for religious reasons

How can the law protect you?

- It is against the law to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origin.

- It is also unlawful to discriminate on grounds of religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief.

- People of every background, race, colour, religion and nationality are protected.

- You are also protected where the discrimination refers to the race, colour or ethnic origin of someone else, e.g. if you're refused entry into somewhere because you're with someone from a different racial group.

- You are protected in all aspects of employment - from recruitment and promotion to dismissal and redundancy.

- There are a few exceptions - such as in acting or modelling - where a particular ethnic or racial background is necessary for that character.

What can I do if it happens to me?

- Gather evidence and keep detailed records about the discrimination.

- Try and find examples of when someone from a different racial group or religion was treated more favourably than you in similar circumstances.

Who can help?

- Someone at work who may be able to help, like your manager or the human resources department.

- Your local racial equality council.

- Your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

- Your trade union.

- Your nearest Commission for Racial Equality office - all the local numbers are listed on their website and CRE complaints officers may be able to offer you legal assistance.

What if that doesn't work?

- You could try a tribunal, however, if you follow this route, you need to file your case within three months of the discriminatory incident. You could also contact The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). They may be able to help you reach a settlement without going to tribunal.

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