Feel you have been discriminated against
If you feel you have been discriminated against at work due to your age there are a number of remedies available. As with other disputes, it is often quicker and more economical to try and resolve any issues with your employer directly, through informal complaints to your superiors or through your employer’s official procedures; but should such methods fail then cases can be brought before an Employment Tribunal.
The Tribunal is able to issue a declaration of your rights, outlining your right to work free from discrimination or abuse. The Tribunal may also choose to make a recommendation that the respondent take specific action within a specified period to relieve any adverse effects or suffering you may experience or, new under the Equality Act 2010, to benefit the wider workforce.
Of course the Tribunal may also award you compensation for injury of feelings and/or any subsequent economic loss, such as any loss of income resulting from a discriminatory failure to promote or discriminatory dismissal. The tribunal can award anywhere from £500 to £30,000+ depending on the severity of the discrimination.
The tribunal may also choose to award aggravated damages if you can provide evidence of exceptional conduct or motive, such as where the alleged discriminator has received a promotion whilst still under investigation for discrimination.
If you have been the victim of a dismissal which is both discriminatory and unfair then the courts may remedy the situation through one of two compensatory regimes. The most commonly used is the discrimination regime, as there is no statutory limit on the damages that can be awarded, but the dismissal regime is sometimes used as it allows the tribunal to order your reinstatement, with which the employer must comply or pay additional compensation, usually in the region of 6-12 months’ pay.
If you believe you might be a victim of discrimination you’ll find there is a lot of support available. Usually companies would rather resolve these issues internally and you’ll usually find help and support if you contact a member of the Human Resources department and explain you situation.
As with many legal matters you can always begin by speaking with the Citizens Advice Bureau who can help explain your options and direct you to any professional help you may require. There are also other groups more focused on these sorts of issues, such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Government Equalities Office who may be able to give you more detailed advice, either over the ‘phone or via their respective websites.