Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Wise Up and Avoid Big Brother Bother

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Wise Up and Avoid Big Brother Bother

Article excerpt

Byline: Sharon Carter And Stephen Halfpenny, Stockton And District Advice And Information Service/stockton Citizens' Advice Bureau

How employers can fall foul of law

THE most talked about television programme of the year so far has been Celebrity Big Brother, which despite drawing more than eight million viewers, has been heavily criticised by both viewers and media alike because of the treatment of housemate Shilpa Shetty.

The controversy sparked by the show stems from comments directed at the actress from other housemates that could be considered discriminatory.

This is a serious allegation that happens at places of work every day.

We at Stockton & District Advice & Information Service have found that many employees are bullied or discriminated against and don't even realise it.

Discrimination in employment can be difficult to identify. Direct discrimination in employment involves treating someone less favourably than someone else has been, or would be, treated for a reason not connected to that person's ability to do the job - for example, because of their race.

Indirect discrimination occurs when an employer imposes a provision, criterion or practice which puts certain members of staff at a disadvantage because they cannot comply with it because of their sex, race, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or age.

It is not always obvious that discrimination has taken place, so we at the CAB need to look at the facts of each case and consider whether the employer has treated the worker in a way that is different from the way a person would have treated comparable employees.

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person on the grounds of their:

* Sex (including married people and people who are undergoing gender reassignment)

* Race, which includes race, colour, nationality, national origin and ethnic origin

* Disability

* Sexual orientation (or perceived sexual orientation). …

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