Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

How Can I Ensure Discrimination Does Not Take Place in My Business? ; ELAS Employment Law Consultant Enrique Garcia Discusses Discrimination in the Workplace and How to Avoid It

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

How Can I Ensure Discrimination Does Not Take Place in My Business? ; ELAS Employment Law Consultant Enrique Garcia Discusses Discrimination in the Workplace and How to Avoid It

Article excerpt

DESPITE many employers being aware of their legal responsibilities when it comes to any harassment or victimisation carried out by a staff member against another employee, it would seem that the same level of concern does not extend to the issues of equal pay and discriminatory conditions.

Official ONS figures analysed by Employment Law experts, ELAS show that the average UK hourly wage for men is Pounds 12.64, and for women Pounds 10.38 - a gap of 21.8 per cent, with the disparity between pay widening between males and females in their midthirties.

However, wage inequality is not the only challenge women are facing in today's workplace. A recent survey conducted by law firm Slater & Gordon reveals that 40 per cent of managers admit to being wary of hiring women for senior roles, or women of childbearing age.

Commenting on how businesses can ensure discrimination does not take place within the workplace, Employment Law Consultant Enrique Garcia says: "Business leaders that fail to train or educate staff about discrimination face the possibility of heavy fines, costly employment tribunals or maybe even a prison sentence, all while damaging their company's reputation.

"The amount of compensation a victim of discrimination can receive is uncapped so the sky's the limit in terms of potential costs. This means it quite literally pays to make sure that as an employer you are aware of your obligations and are doing as much as you can to mitigate the chances of an employee filing a claim."

The largest ever award handed to an employee in a race and sex discrimination case so far stands at Pounds 4.5 million, including compensation for loss of earnings up to retirement.

To ensure employers know their legal obligations, ELAS have put together a checklist for employers of steps they are legally required to make to ensure they are not discriminatory: 1. …

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