Discrimination Solicitors

Discrimination and Harassment

Discrimination law is a complex area of employment law. As an employer, it can be time-consuming to keep up to date with this complicated issue, as well as costly if you get it wrong. As your trusted employment law advisor, our solicitors have many years of experience and expertise in resolving matters involving discrimination and harassment claims.. You can be assured that no matter how complex or contentious the alleged claim, our team will provide clear, strategic guidance and representation to resolve the matter as quickly, cost-effectively, and amicably as possible. We will ensure your legal position and reputation are protected while providing the most robust defence possible if you have been accused of discrimination or harassment. If an employee has made allegations of discrimination or harassment, having the support of an expert team of employment lawyers in advance of any potentially contentious discussions or steps you plan to take relating to their conduct can be hugely beneficial.

As a full-service law firm, we will work as a seamless extension of your in-house legal and HR teams, offering the highest level of employment contract legal expertise, support, and guidance.

Contact us on 0808 164 1349 or complete our online enquiry form to find out how we can help with matters relating to discrimination or harassment.

All employers are required to abide by discrimination laws that aim to ensure that all employees are afforded the same opportunities in the workplace, as well as protecting workers' dignity, and allowing them to make complaints without fearing consequences as a result.

The employment solicitors at Wilford Smith have a proven history in successfully defending discrimination claims on behalf of employers across all commercial sectors. Our solicitors will discuss your circumstances in detail as part of our uniquely client-focused service. From the earliest stage, we will work on your behalf to develop a strategy to ensure matters are concluded as efficiently as possible, protecting your position and reputation in the process.


What constitutes unlawful discrimination at work?

Anti-discrimination provisions are contained in the Equality Act 2010. Under the legislation, employers have a legal obligation to treat their employees (including former employees) and job applicants fairly. Employers cannot discriminate, harass, or victimise on the grounds of:
• Age
• Disability
• Race
• Sex
• Marriage or civil partnership
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Sexual orientation
Gender reassignment
Religion or belief

These are known as 'protected characteristics.

What are the different forms of discrimination?

Unlawful discrimination in the workplace can occur in different forms:

• Direct discrimination -the most obvious form of discrimination whereby an employee is deliberately treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic.
• Discrimination by association -when an employee is treated less favourably because they are associated with another person who holds a protected characteristic.
• Indirect discrimination - where an employer implements a provision, criteria, or practice, which applies to all employees; however, it puts those who hold a particular protected characteristic at a disadvantage compared to their colleagues.

The solicitors at Wilford Smith regularly act on behalf of employers to successfully defend themselves following accusations of indirect discrimination by showing that the policy in question is proportionate. Our team can support you in producing evidence to this effect and demonstrate that you have balanced the needs of your business against any adverse impact the policy has had on individual employees.

What is victimisation?

Victimisation occurs as a result of an employer mistreating their employee after the employee has made a complaint under the Equality Act 2010. Employers are obliged to take reasonable steps to protect their employees where they have previously claimed to have suffered from discrimination. If they fail to do so, they may be vulnerable to legal action.

What is harassment?

The terms' bullying' and 'harassment' are often used interchangeably. However, ' bullying' does not appear within the legislation, which focuses specifically on harassment. Under the Equality Act 2010, harassment is defined as unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic which violates a person's dignity or has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

Why Wilford Smith Solicitors?

Wilford Smith was founded over 30 years ago and is now considered one of the UK’s most prestigious law firms, has developed a richly deserved reputation for excellence in our core areas of law, including employment and HR. We are more than just a law firm; we are your trusted legal advisor and will be there at every step of your commercial journey. You are never alone. The advice, support, and representation we provide to your business will be tailored to your needs and specific to your industry sector. You can be assured that with our team managing your employment law matter, exceptional outcomes are the norm.

Our employment law teams are based in Sheffield and advise and represent clients throughout England and Wales. Contact us today on 0808 168 5813 to find out how we can help with matters concerning discrimination and harassment.


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At Wilford Smith we are invested in your success. Our team will get to know you, your family, your business, and your market sector. To us, you and needs are unique. You can be confident that by instructing us, we will take care of all your legal matters throughout your lifetime, providing creative solutions and protecting your best interests.



  • Meadowhall Business Park
  • S9 2EQ
  • Tel: 0808 164 4106
  • Fax: 0844 225 0572


  • Smithy House 22 Westgate,
  • Rotherham S60 1AP
  • Tel: 0808 164 4106
  • Fax: 0844 225 0572


  • 20 Old Bailey
  • LondonEC4M 7AN
  • By appointment only
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2024 Wilford Smith is the trading name of WS Strategic Ltd. a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 07777022. Registered office – Meadowhall Business Park, Sheffield S9 2EQ. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA Registration Number 640898.