The law recognises discrimination on the basis of certain ‘protected characteristics’. These are age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability 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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