Race discrimination occurs when a someone is treated less favourably because of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin. The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against employees because of these characteristics.
Race discrimination covers four areas:
- direct discrimination: this is where someone is treated less favourably because of their actual or perceived race, or because of the race of someone with whom they associate
- indirect discrimination: this can occur where your employer has a policy, practice or procedure applying to all workers, but particularly disadvantages people of a particular race
- harassment: this is unwanted conduct related to race, the purpose or effect of which violates someone’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person
- victimisation: this is unfair treatment of an employee who has made or supported a complaint about race discrimination
Some jobs can require that the job-holder is of a particular racial group. This is known as an 'occupational requirement'. However, this is quite rare and it is unlawful to discriminate against an applicant, worker or trainee on grounds of race, colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin.
Your employer should have policies in place which are designed to prevent discrimination or bullying and harassment in the following areas:
- recruitment and selection
- determining pay
- training and development
- selection for promotion
- discipline and grievances
Contact us for further information on race discrimination.