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Workplace Discrimination

View profile for Susan Mayall
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Today’s business leaders and employers need to consider gender equality as more than just women's rights. Gender discrimination affects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. As an employer it is important to learn how to recognise, prevent and stop gender discrimination to avoid harmful results.

A study from ACAS has reported that managers are failing to support trans employees as much as they could in the workplace. Many employers are unaware of the law on gender reassignment discrimination which can put some trans employees at risk of workplace bullying.

Susan Mayall, Head of Employment Law says, “We have found that there is a lack of knowledge in this area amongst employers, which can lead to a lack of management confidence in handling these kinds of issues and the persistent associated stigma.”

Workplace Conflict and Company Morale

Discrimination is a form of harassment, which can increase conflict in the workplace. Sometimes it can affect the team focus from duties to the drama in the office and can fracture a team when people takes sides.  This kind of conflict is not good for the workplace, and it can affect the job performance of an entire department or team.  When conflict increases in the office, people feel it. It can permeate throughout the whole company; poor morale has a negative effect on corporate culture and is directly felt by customers too.

Reduced Organisational Productivity

With increases in conflict and morale falling, office productivity will diminish, as well. As a business leader, you know that employees who are happy and comfortable at work are the best performers. When people are trying to avoid negative behavior, such as experiencing or witnessing gender discrimination, it can have a significant impact on the bottom line of the business itself.

Consider Legal Issues

Employers need to be concerned with more than just the company morale and productivity when it comes to gender discrimination. There are legal issues to consider. Under the Equality Act 2010 it is against the law to allow discrimination of any sort.  Employers have to follow the law on preventing discrimination, including gender equality. If you don’t address discrimination accusations and actions appropriately, a disgruntled employee could bring a lawsuit against you and your company for not protecting his rights.

Our Employment Solicitor, Susan Mayall adds, “This is an area in which we can assist employers ensuring that the workplace is an inclusive and welcoming environment.  Not only can we advise and offer training, we can draft policies which consider the needs of trans employees ensuring inclusion is at the heart of your business.

For more advice and guidance on Employment issues please contact our Employment Law Team on 0161 785 3500

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers LLP or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.