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Workplace discrimination – Remember social media

Marc Jones, an employment law specialist and a partner at at full service law firm Turbervilles Solicitors, shares his expert advice on the thorny and often overlooked issue of discrimination. Over the past 40 years, a number of laws have been passed – including the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1996, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and more recently the Equality Act 2010 –  to create a more tolerant and politically correct society in this country. Yet how much ‘PC’ behaviour is actually reflected at work? How many of us are aware that office banter or a joke we make could be regarded offensive, or even worse, unlawful?

Recent research from Turbervilles Solicitors, conducted amongst more than 1000 employees across Britain, shows that discrimination is still rife at work. Half of them had heard or received discriminatory remarks at work weekly, rising to seven in ten on a monthly basis – comments which could cause offence because of somebody’s age; disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. Yet two thirds of employees do nothing about it or laugh it off.

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