Race Discrimination: What is It, and How Can It Be Prevented?

Part 3: Harassment  

What is harassment?

Harassment is unwanted behaviour or conduct which has the purpose or effect of leaving you feeling offended, upset, intimidated or humiliated, it often creates a hostile environment. It can happen on its own or alongside other forms of discrimination. It can be verbal or physical behaviour.

Racial harassment can be an isolated incident, or a series of incidents which either intentionally, or unintentionally, intimidate, offend or harm any individual or group because of their ethnic origin, colour, race, religion or nationality. Harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under s26 of the Equality Act 2010.

The key here is that there is no requirement for them to have intended to have that effect as long as it’s reasonable for someone to be offended by the comments of conduct.

Unwanted behaviour could be:

  • Spoken or written words or abuse: including verbal threats, insults and racist jokes.
  • Racially offensive emails, tweets or comments on social networking sites.
  • Exclusion from normal workplace conversation or activities.
  • Physical gestures or attacks.
  • Encouraging others to do any of the above acts.

The Equality Act says its harassment where the behaviour is meant to or has the effect of either:

  • violating your dignity; or
  • creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

This means its harassment even if the person harassing you didn’t mean to offend or intimidate you if the harassment has one of the above effects. The behaviour you’re complaining about must be something you didn’t want. The law refers to this as ‘unwanted conduct’.

If you go to court, the judge may have to decide if it’s harassment or not. They will look at how the behaviour made you feel and whether it’s reasonable for you to feel this way.

It doesn’t matter if the behaviour is directed at you or not, for example, if you overhear your colleagues making racist jokes or comments to each other this can be harassment.

Thrive Case Study

Here at Thrive, we have sadly assisted employees with countless claims of harassment. Examples include likening certain races to terrorist groups, “banter” about slavery, and inappropriate comments based on skin colour.

 As an employee; what should you do?

If you think you have suffered race discrimination, there is a number of things you can do;

  • Raise a formal grievance through the organisation’s grievance procedure to try and solve the issues internally.
  • Have a look in the company handbook at the policies on racism and see if your employer or someone who works for your employer has breached any of the company policies.
  • If you believe your complaint was not dealt with properly or you do not agree with the outcome of the grievance you can make a claim to an Employment Tribunal. Here at Thrive, we regularly deal with these kinds of claim and would be more than happy to assist.

Time limits

It is important to note that, in all Tribunal claims including harassment the legal time limit is 3 months less one day from the last act of discrimination. Therefore, in order to bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal, the harassment must have occurred in the past 3 months. Through our helpline, we have received a lot of queries about historical racism (eg. over a year ago) which, disappointingly, Employment law does not currently allow claims for.

How can we help you?

At Thrive we are doing all we can to support the black lives matter movement. Even though the media has settled now we must still hear those who need to be heard.

We have launched a FREE helpline for anyone who is concerned about workplace racism.  If this is, you or you know someone who has an enquiry please email: BLMsupport@thrivelaw.co.uk

The Thrive Tribe

Related Articles

Keep Informed: MacDonald’s CEO dismissed for relationship at work

South Leeds Life 3 October 2018

Stylist Magazine – 21st May

Face Coverings in the Workplace: What are the Rules?

Mental Health in Lockdown: What are people concerned about? By Hebe Quinney

Furlough Bonus Scheme: What is it, and What’s the Point?

Unshielding Employees – What are their Rights?

The impact of COVID-19 on students and the new scheme.

Women through the cracks: Sex discrimination

Do you need to offer an appeal in redundancy dismissal situations?

What is a collective redundancy and what are employers’ obligations?

Race Discrimination: What is It, and How Can It Be Prevented?

Update: Spanish Quarantine: What Does This Mean For Employers and Employees?

Indirect Race Discrimination: What is It, and How Can It Be Prevented

Race Discrimination: What is It, and How Can It Be Prevented?

Update: Employment Status. Hairdresser wins landmark case.

Maternity Discrimination and Flexible Furlough

Women Through the Cracks

SSP and Travel

June’s Top 10 FAQ’s

Hill v Lloyds Bank: Discrimination and Mental Health

Pride month – LGBT legal leaders

Test and Trace update

Furlough Fraud

Commission under Furlough

Marital Discrimination: What Happens when Your Employees Split?

Disability & Shielding

Future of Furlough

Returning to work safely following Covid-19

A Four Day Week – Is It The Future?

Utilising Technology for Mental Health Support during Covid-19

#BLACKLIVESMATTER – HR professionals and their role in tackling racism, and what we are doing at Thrive Law

The importance of Redundancy Consultation – the problem with Jamie’s Italian

LGBTQ+ Figures in the Legal Sector

Calculating notice pay for employees on furlough

The Future of Furlough

Test and Trace: Employer’s Obligations

Life in Lockdown: How it has impacted the #ThriveTribe

Life in Lockdown: The Distressing Rise in Domestic Abuse and How Employers Can Help

Life in Lockdown: The Impact of Grief and Employees’ Rights

Managing my Mental Health as a Mother

Life in Lockdown: NHS Staff and Possible PTSD After COVID-19

Health Care Workers and PPE Concerns: What are Their Duties and How Are They Protected?

The effect of lockdown on diversity in the workplace

Observing Ramadan during Lockdown

Emergency Volunteering Leave

Dealing with redundancy during COVID-19

Health and safety dismissals: An employee’s right to stay safe during a pandemic

Unfurloughing employees

Sleep and mental health

Raising concerns amid Covid-19: Are Employees Protected?

Maintaining your teams Mental Wellbeing (whilst working from home/Furlough)

Workplace Safety: 10 Important Steps to Making Your Workplace Safer for Employees

Airline crew launch “Project Wingman”

Statutory Sick Pay and Coronavirus

Why is sleep so important?

Pregnancy, Maternity and Furlough

Flexible working – is it possible in a law firm?

The superhero firms helping out in the coronavirus crisis

What are the Signs of Stress?

Statutory Duties owed by a Director of a Company; and How Do They Work with Furlough?

A barristers analysis of holiday pay and furlough

Coronavirus and Apprenticeships

Furlough and Annual Leave: How does it work?

Vulnerable and shielded employees; what are your rights?

The Coronavirus Act 2020

Workplace Accessibility: Is your workplace accessible to people with disabilities?

Coronavirus – FAQ’s

In the News: Coronavirus Employer obligations

UK in Lockdown – What You Need to Know

The F Word – Furlough

Short Time and Layoffs

School Closures

The Impact of Coronavirus on Employment – The Home Working Revolution

How to Prepare for a Remote Workforce

Coronavirus is contagious, but panic is too

What are the different types of Whistleblowing?

The Coronavirus and Flexible Working – What Your Organisation Can Do

Key Employment Law Changes in 2020

IR35 Changes – What do you need to know?

In the Media: Fairhall v University Hospital of North Tees & Hartlepool Foundation Trust

There’s a Storm Coming: Do You Have an Adverse Weather Policy for Employees?

May Bank Holiday Change Blog- All Change for 2020!

LGBT+ History Month

Can you sack someone who works in a supermarket and refuses to handle money?

In The News: Bereavement Leave

The Thrive Tribe’s Christmas Holiday

In The News: Discrimination and Equal Pay

Keep Informed: Its Beginning to Look A Lot Like Brexit – What will the Withdrawal Bill Mean for Employment Rights?

Bring Your Dog to Work – For More Than Just a Day?

In the News: Hangover Days

Political Discourse and Voting at Work: What are Employees’ Rights?

Vegetarianism & Veganism – Are they protected as Philosophical Beliefs?

Diversity: More than just Box-Ticking and Policies

Drugs and Alcohol Policy: Support or Discipline?

Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace

Yorkshire Legal Awards: Diversity and Inclusion Award

Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business: Social Mobility Award

Topic UK Magazine October 2019

Calling Time on the Booze Culture

Mental health discrimination is limiting the opportunities in the workplace for those who have served in the armed forces

How to Thrive – Top tips to reduce stress in your organisation

Asda’s Employment Contract Changes: Fair or Foolish?

How to Handle Allergies in the Workplace

Menopause in the Workplace

The 4 Day Week Report

Feeling SAD?

Keep Informed: New case criticises workplace “banter” and awards £54,000 for race and sexual orientation discrimination

Surviving or Thriving?

Keep Informed: Women and Equalities Committee proposes changes to enforcement of discrimination rights

The Good Work Plan

Working 9 to 5, 4 Days a Week…?

Is your organisation ready for Generation Z?

Thriving In The Workplace and the #OneMind Petition

Dyslexia in the Workplace

Overpayments and Deductions from wages

The UK’s increasingly diabetic workforce

TheBusinessDesk: Further expansion for law firm; Promotions at engineering specialist; and more

LGBTQIA+ in the Workplace

Eid in the Workplace

Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Magazine – 11th April 2019

Recruiting Times – 12th February 2019 Employment contracts: What to check for before accepting the job

HR News – 6th February 2019 Over half of working Brits have accepted a job offer without checking the contract first.

Yorkshire Legal News – Thrive Law continues rapid growth – 12th November 2018

BR Online: Employee wellbeing and human capital – November 2018

MMB Magazine – 5 November 2018

The Telegraph- Business 24 October 2018

H & N Magazine 3 October 2018

The Yorkshire Post 10 October 2018

Article in People Management- “Employers must do more to tackle male ‘stigma’ around shared parental leave” – 30th July

The Business Desk- “Independent law firm launches in Yorkshire”– July 16th

Interview with Ascension Club Leeds- July 11th

Law Society Gazette – 3rd May 2018

Yorkshire Post – 2 May 2018 – Greg Wright The Case for introducing mental health first aiders at work

What Is YOUR Workplace Doing for Ramadan?

April Updates in Employment Law

Thoughts On “Gagging Orders”

Time to Talk Day 2019

The Loneliness Epidemic

Thrive’s round up of 2018!

To talk or not to talk?

Why employers should exercise caution when using NDAs

Being your true self at work boosts mental wellbeing and performance

How to spot and eliminate risks of office workplace accidents

Why The Best Investment Is In Your Mental Health

Supporting LGBT+ Mental Health in the Workplace

What your employer needs to know when your child has a mental health illness – guest blog

The Do’s And Don’t For A Happy Employee – Guest Blog

HR leading the way into GDPR compliance for businesses

Dealing with stress in the workplace

Welcome to our new website and blog!