The law recognises discrimination on the basis of certain ‘protected characteristics’. These are age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity and religion or belief.

It can involve drawing a comparison with someone else but not always.

From a point of view of time limits, discrimination can be tricky because a 3-month time limit is set running for each discriminatory act. This can mean that by the time we are instructed, some of those acts may already be more than 3 months old and possibly out of time.

Unlike dismissal, which usually has a definite date, ‘discrimination’ may be disputed. Nevertheless, if an act is later viewed as discriminatory, the 3-month time limit still runs and points can be easily missed by the unwary.

It is very important in a potential discrimination situation to get advice early so that points do not become time-barred. Raising a grievance does not stop the time clock running.

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