Workplace Victimisation

Victimisation is where the employer treats the employee less favourably because the employee has complained or intends to complain about discrimination or harassment at work or because the employee has given evidence in relation to another employee's complaint about discrimination or harassment at work. The employee must not be disciplined or dismissed by the employer or suffer any reprisals from other colleagues or any other types of detriments as a result of complaining about discrimination or harassment at work.

Under the Equality Act 2010, there has been an important change in that there is no longer a need to compare the treatment of the employee concerned with that of an employee who has not made or supported a complaint of discrimination or harassment.

The employer may be found liable for victimisation even though the original allegation is not proven. For example, where an original complaint of discrimination is not substantiated, it may constitute victimisation for a manager of the company to give the employee a bad performance review because the employee had made a complaint against that manager.

All discrimination, harassment and victimisation claims must be brought in the Employment Tribunals within 3 months of the act(s) complained of or where there are a series of acts, within 3 months of the last incident. If the employee is successful in their claim, there is no upper limit on the amount of potential compensation that can be awarded which will include an award for injury to feelings as well as an award for loss of earnings if relevant.