Victimisation

By Tolley in association with Emma Bartlett at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
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The following Employment Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with Emma Bartlett at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Victimisation
  • Was there a protected act?
  • Was the victim subjected to a detriment?
  • Was the victim subjected to the detriment because of the protected act?
  • Victimisation regarding discussion about pay
  • Defences

Individuals who speak up to assert their rights under the Equality Act 2010 run the potential risk that they will be treated badly in retaliation. Not protecting working individuals who assert those rights would potentially entirely undermine the protection they enjoy against discrimination. The concept of unlawful victimisation exists to safeguard an individual's ability to assert his or her rights safely.

A person victimises an individual if:

  • he subjects that individual to a detriment
  • he does so because that individual undertook a protected act

It will be sufficient to establish victimisation if the perpetrator simply believes that the individual undertook or was going to undertake a protected act.

See Example 1 for a basic illustration.

In other words, in order to determine whether victimisation has occurred the following three step test can be used:

  • did the victim undertake a protected act (or the perpetrator believed that he had done so or may do so)? then
  • has the victim been subjected to a detriment? then
  • has he been subjected to that detriment because he undertook (or the perpetrator believed he has undertaken, or may undertake) the protected act?

If the answer to all is yes then victimisation is likely to have occurred.

Was there a protected act?

Protected acts are:

  • bringing proceedings under the Equality Act 2010 (either against the person now victimising or against anyone else)
  • giving evidence or information in connection with any such proceedings under the Equality Act 2010

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