Male colleagues pointing fingers at upset female boss on meeting

Do you run discrimination awareness training for staff? Have you got up to date equality policies? If you are not already on top of this, Mark Roby, part of the HRExpress team at Stephens Scown, explains why this should be at the top of your to do list.

Employment tribunal claims are on the increase since fees were removed in 2017. Add to that the fact that employers can be held vicariously liable for any acts of discrimination by their employees and you can see that this is a risk area that all prudent business owners should take action to mitigate.

Discrimination on the grounds of race, disability, sexual orientation, age or marriage (amongst others) can lead to significant awards.

We support hundreds of individuals and businesses through the employment tribunal process each year. We know that two of the first things that the tribunal will seek to establish in discrimination cases are if an employer has trained staff recently, and if this was in line with up to date policies. If you can answer yes to both questions, you will be less likely to be found liable for discriminatory action by your employees.

Awards for discrimination are uncapped, so could be a significant burden on a business, particularly if the claimant has suffered ill health as a result of the discrimination which prevents them from working.

Mark Roby is an HR advisor and part of the HRExpress at Stephens Scown. The team offers HR and employment law support, training and solutions to small and medium sized organisations, helping them to develop an engaged, effective and productive workforce.  For more information, call 01872 265100 or email