1. Victimisation meaning

Victimisation is when someone subjects you to harmful behaviour because you have or you’re suspected of reporting a case of discrimination. The Equality Act 2010 includes protection against victimisation to urge people to report incidents of discrimination without fear. 

Anyone who reports discrimination can become a victim of victimisation, regardless of whether they possess a protected characteristic.

2. Why did the discrimination happen?

Under the Equality Act 2010, you can report an incident if someone is facing discrimination for possessing any of the following characteristics:

  • age
  • disability
  • race
  • marriage or civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • gender reassignment
Employee making a complaint about victimisation to an employer

3. Are you protected against victimisation?

Someone is only protected against victimisation if they have done one of the following:

  • Claimed discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Provided accurate evidence to help someone else claim under the Act.
  • Say that someone has done something unlawful under the Act.

Example 

You make a complaint to your employer about discrimination towards another member of staff. As a result of your complaint, your employer no longer invites you to team meetings. In this instance, the behaviour is victimisation and the Equality Act 2010 protects you.

4. When does the Equality Act 2010 not protect me?

The Equality Act 2010 only protects you when you’re facing harmful behaviour for attempting to stop discrimination in good faith. Therefore, if you purposefully make false accusations, the Act won’t protect you against the backlash. However, what happens when you provide information that you thought was true at the time? In that case, even if the information is false, you’re still protected against victimisation.

Example
A fellow work colleague and close friend, has made a racial discrimination claim against your employer. As a result, you need to give evidence at the Employment Tribunal hearing. In the hearing, you knowingly provide false information to support your friend. Consequently, because you knowingly gave false information, your employer disciplines you.

One of our specialst discrimination solicitors helping with a victimisation case
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