Despite programmes like McMafia and rising tensions between Russian and western governments, the UK continues to welcome Russians.
However, there is no doubt that the general attitude towards all immigrants to the UK has hardened after Brexit.
As a law firm, we see discrimination in two main areas. The first is in financial services, such as opening bank accounts and, the second and, by far the biggest, is in relation to employment.
Whilst it is common for people to feel that they have been treated differently for an unfair reason, by law it is only unlawful discrimination if certain requirements are met.
Employment and Discrimination
The UK has strong protection in the form of The Equality Act 2010, to protect people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. There are four main types of discrimination:
- Direct – when you are treated ‘less favourably’ (differently and worse) than another person because of an actual or perceived ‘protected characteristic’, or by association with someone having a protected characteristic, and, without any lawful reason. Protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.
- Indirect – this is when a ‘policy, practice or rule’, which applies to everybody in the same way, places you and others that share your protected characteristic at a disadvantage, and, the person applying the policy, practice or rule can’t show there’s a good enough objective reason for it.
- Harassment – covers unwanted behaviour that you find offensive, intimidating or humiliating.
- Victimisation – when you are treated badly because you raised a complaint about discrimination or helped someone who was discriminated against.
The definition of race includes the different elements of colour, nationality and ethnic or national origin. So if you think you have been treated differently because you are Russian, or your employer thinks you are Russian, please do get in touch with us.
The law covers the action of ‘causing, instructing and inducing’ others, so the act of telling someone to discriminate against, harass or victimise someone, is unlawful of itself.
The law is very wide and applies to job applicants, trainees, employees, contract workers, office holders, self-employed people and those on secondment. It covers all areas of employment, protecting you from discrimination all the way from recruitment and selection to dismissal.
- Keep a written record of what happened, when and who it involved;
- Take steps to secure any evidence which confirms your belief that you were discriminated against; and,
- Get in touch with us as soon as possible and bear in mind, our advice will be affected by the facts of your case and strict legal time limits.
The time limit for making a claim for discrimination to the employment tribunal is three months from the last act of discrimination. Even though employment tribunals have discretion to allow late claims in, there must be exceptional reasons why the claim was not submitted in time.