Unlike some other areas of employment law, there is no qualifying period for the protection from discrimination. Not only is discrimination unlawful from the very first day in employment, protection starts from the moment a person applies for a job.
A job advert demanding 15 years’ experience is likely to be considered age discrimination because people in their twenties and early thirties would not have the length of experience demanded despite being well qualified in all other respects for a post.
Employers are prevented from asking questions about health or disability before offering applicants a position. This protection was to allow disabled employees to have their suitability for a position considered before being required to reveal their disability. Questions may be asked about any adjustments which may need to be made to the interview process for disabled applicants.
A woman who is rejected for a job on the basis that she has young children and may need time off when they are ill would be covered by the Equality Act under the protected characteristic of sex. This is because women are statistically more likely to have childcare responsibilities and therefore any provision which takes account of childcare difficulties is likely to have a disproportionately negative impact on women when compared to men.
Tom Street qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and has over 20 years experience in employment and litigation law. He studied law at the University of Manchester before undertaking the legal practice course at the College of Law in Guildford, going on to complete his legal training at a firm in Chancery Lane, London. Once fully qualified, he moved to a niche litigation practice in the City of London.
In 2010, Tom set up his own legal practice, Tom Street & Co Solicitors and as part of this, in accordance with his strongly held objective to provide everyone with an easy pathway to justice he established the online portals Do I Have A Case? and Tribunal Claim. These websites are trading names of Tom Street & Co Solicitors.