Race Discrimination Claims

The Equality Act (EA) 2010 prohibit discrimination on racial grounds. ‘Racial grounds’ are defined to include race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins and there are four main types of racial discrimination: direct, indirect, victimisation and harassment. We have specialist race discrimination solicitors who can handle these type of cases for you.

Direct Race Discrimination

This occurs when a person has been treated less favourably on racial grounds than others in similar circumstances. The test of whether there has been less favourable treatment is comparative. There may be a specific individual who can be a comparator, but where there is no comparator the complainant can use a hypothetical one. Direct discrimination includes associative discrimination (where an employee is treated less favourably because they are associated with another person who possesses the protected racial characteristic) and discrimination by perception (where an employee is treated less favourably because others perceive them to possess the protected racial characteristic even if they don't).

Indirect Race Discrimination

This is where a seemingly non-discriminatory practice, criterion, or policy is applied to all but can only be met by a proportionately smaller number of people from a particular group who possess a particular protected racial characteristic, where it is to the detriment of an individual from that group due to the fact that they cannot comply, and the said practice, criterion, or policy cannot be justified on non-racial grounds. An example of this type of discrimination is a rule that employees must have UK qualifications. Employers who impose such a rule would have to objectively justify it on non-racial grounds.


It is unlawful to treat a person less favourably because they have made allegations or brought proceedings under the RRA 1976 and EA 2010, or because they have helped another person to do so.


Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct which violates the victims dignity or which creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. Following changes introduced by the EA 2010, these regulations apply to claims relating to race, ethnic, and national origins, and colour and nationality. Furthermore, an employee can also bring a claim of harassment even where it is not directed at them personally, so long as they can show that the harassment created an offensive environment for them to work in.

Race Discrimination Solicitors: Bringing A Race Discrimination Claim

A tribunal claim must be made within three months of the discriminatory act (or last discriminatory act) complained of. Unlike in unfair dismissal claims, employees do not have to have had at least 2 years continuous service with the employer to be entitled to bring the claim. Should the employees claim be successful, the tribunal can make recommendations and award compensation. Should the employer fail to comply with recommendations made by the tribunal for action to reduce discrimination without reasonable justification, the tribunal can award additional compensation on top of what it may have already awarded. Furthermore, for claims brought from October 2010 onwards, Tribunals can now demand that employers implement changes to prevent further discrimination taking place. Compensation awards in discrimination cases are unlimited and unlike in unfair dismissal cases, there is no such thing as a 'basic' or 'compensatory' award. Instead, the award normally comprises the following:

  • Injury to Feelings: Comprise separate awards for hurt feelings, aggravated damages, and injury to health. The criteria for assessing compensation for hurt feelings were set out by the Court of Appeal in the case of Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire (No.2) (2003), as subsequently amended, the most recent amendments being made by presidential guidance in September 2017 following the Court of Appeal decision in De Souza v Vinci Construction (UK) Ltd (2017). As a result of this, there is a top band of £42,000.00+ for exceptionally serious cases (£33,000.00+ for cases presented before the 11th September 2017), an upper band of £25,200.00 - £42,000.00 for serious cases (£19,800.00 - £33,000.00 for cases presented before the 11th September 2017), a middle band of between £8,400.00 - £25,200.00 (£6,600.00 - £19,800.00 for cases presented before the 11th September 2017), and a lower band of between £800.00 - £8,400.00 for less serious and one-off cases (£660.00 - £6,600.00 for cases presented before the 11th September 2017). The Court in Vento stated that awards for less than the lower band should be avoided. An injury to health claim can be pursued, but should there be a separate award for it, the tribunal has to ensure that there is no element of duplication. Finally, aggravated damages can also be awarded, although awards for this element do not usually exceed £5,000.00 and are only awarded should the employers conduct have been especially cruel and malicious.
  • Loss of Earnings: Normally makes up the bulk of the claim and includes both actual and future loss of earnings. Future loss can be extensive where psychiatric injury has been sustained as a result of the discrimination and makes it difficult for the employee to obtain new and appropriate employment.
  • Injury to Health (Personal Injury): Is most commonly for psychiatric injury. Nevertheless, where a claim for personal injury is included, the employee loses the right to bring a claim in the civil courts for it.
  • Ancillary Losses: These can be for items such as the cost of looking for alternative employment and pension loss.
  • Interest: Interest on the compensation award can be claimed

Race Discrimination Solicitors: What To Do If You Have A Claim

Should you require advice on race discrimination, then please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialist race discrimination solicitors. We can be contacted either by telephoning us on 0333 3010 700, or by completing the questionnaire on the right hand side of this page.

As specialist race discrimination solicitors, you can rely upon us to provide you with quality advice from leading race discrimination solicitors within the profession.

Please note that our specialist race discrimination solicitors offer a free initial consultation.

Settlement Agreements

Should you have been offered a Settlement Agreement (which used to be known as Compromise Agreements) which you require independent advice on, then please call one of our employment law solicitors immediately on 0333 3010 700, or complete the questionnaire on the right hand side of this page. We will then arrange an appointment with you to go through the Settlement Agreement.