Discrimination based on race

What is race discrimination?

Racism is when you are unfairly treated because of your race or the race of someone with whom you are closely connected, like your partner.

“Race” includes color, nationality and citizenship, as well as ethnic or national origins.

It is illegal to discriminate against race in any of these situations. You may be able take legal action.

  • Training and employment
  • Education

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When providing goods or services such as entertainment, banking, and transport

  • Housing

Any of the activities performed by public authorities such as the NHS or government departments, police, and prisons

Direct or indirect race discrimination may be possible. Harassment or victimization may also be a form of discrimination.

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Discrimination against a race does not have to be intentional. Even though someone may not be aware of it or intend to discriminate against you, this could still count as discrimination.

  • Direct race discrimination

Direct race discrimination is when someone is treated less favorably than another person in similar circumstances. It is possible to show an example of someone who was, or would be treated differently in the same circumstances as you. This will prove that you are not discriminating against someone of a different race. Direct discrimination includes harassment and racial abuse.

Direct race discrimination can be described as when an employer refuses to hire you because you are not a member of a certain racial group or the customers object.

Direct discrimination is also possible if an employer refuses to hire you because of your relationship with another member of a specific racial group. An employer may decline you for a job if your partner is Afro-Caribbean.

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  • Indirect race discrimination

Indirect race discrimination is when a rule, policy, or practice makes it less likely that people from a certain racial or ethnic group can meet with others. This puts them at a disadvantage.

Some examples of indirect discrimination include:

  • An employer insists that job candidates must have UK qualifications
  • The banning or insisting that skirts be worn at school or work, or the wearing of headscarves
  • An employer may insist that someone speaks English as their first language.

You may be able make a complaint if you believe that there was indirect race discrimination. If the complainant can prove that the rule, practice, or policy is legitimate and has nothing to do a race, it will not be considered discrimination.

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An employer might be able to demonstrate why an employee must have obtained their qualifications in the UK to work in a specific role. This will prove that there was no discrimination.

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