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Discrimination, Bullying & Harassment

Solicitors in Essex & London

Our Employment Department is recognised as one of the leading teams in Essex for employees wanting legal advice on discrimination, bullying and harassment in the workplace.

If you feel you have a case regarding any of the below discriminatory characteristics, or have been bullied and/or harassed whilst at work, then our employment team can assist you further and advise on the next steps.

Discrimination and harassment can be identified in the following protected characteristics:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Discrimination can be direct or indirect and you may also find that you are being victimised or harassed as this can follow on from you asserting your rights under discrimination legislation.

Other than age discrimination, direct discrimination cannot be objectively justified.

Employees and workers together with individuals who are self-employed providing their own employment contract obliges them to form the work personally have the right not to be discriminated against, harassed or victimised.

Events before, during and after employment may give rise to a claim of discrimination. A claim can be made against your employer as well as any individual who has subjected you to such discrimination.

There is no qualifying period of employment required to pursue a discrimination claim. 


Victimisation involves treating a person less favourably because they have complained (or intend to complain) about discrimination, or because they have given evidence in relation to another person's complaint.

An employee should not be disciplined or dismissed for complaining about discrimination or harassment at work.


Harassment is defined as “any unwanted physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them”

Harassment is discriminatory if it is related to any of the characteristics listed above, save from marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy/maternity.


Whilst there is no specific legal definition or prohibition, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (‘ACAS’) categorises bullying as “Offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient”.

Bullying can take the form of physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct.

Unless bullying amounts to conduct defined as harassment, it is not possible to make a complaint to an Employment Tribunal about it.  However, it is likely to damage the mutual trust and confidence between employer and employee which may entitle an employee to resign and claim constructive dismissal.

Book A Free Telephone Consultation

Find out more with a free initial Employment Law consultation

We understand that speaking to a solicitor for the first time about issues relating to discrimination, bullying and harassment in the workplace can be a difficult and stressful experience. Our expert employment solicitors in Essex and London will be happy to undertake an initial interview over the telephone to provide you with some general legal advice. This will enable you to determine what the best next steps are for you to take.

Free initial telephone consultations are available at any of our offices located in Brentwood, Hornchurch or Upminster, or at our office facilities in Leigh-On-Sea and Canary Wharf, London. We understand that sometimes it is difficult to arrange calls during working hours, so we also offer early morning, late night and Saturday appointments. All offices are open until 7pm Monday-Thursday.

Due to the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we are currently offering appointments by telephone and some video calling services. Our offices are also open with comprehensive safety measures in place.

Our Employment Law accreditations include:

Employment Lawyers Association
Legal 500 UK 2019

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