Work-related discrimination complaints on the increase

Almost one in four UK employees has experienced workplace discrimination in the last 12 months, according to a study. The survey revealed that 12% of workers had been discriminated against at work because of their gender, age, background, sexual orientation, culture or ethnicity. Roughly one in seven reported witnessing discrimination against someone they knew at work in the past year.

The research, which questioned 1,080 UK employees online, also found that only half  were sure their employer had a policy to promote workplace diversity and inclusion. One in employees said they weren’t certain their workplace was ‘truly’ diverse, while 19% said their workplace was not diverse.

And a quarter of respondents were not certain their workplace was inclusive, with nearly one in five saying it definitely was not inclusive. The survey also found one in three employees believed their company’s diversity and inclusion policy was ‘usually’ adhered to, but one in ten felt the policy was “just a tick-boxing exercise”.

The number of tribunal claims being brought against all types of discrimination is increasing and the potential compensation awards can be costly. Employers face issues as a result of failing to deal appropriately with discrimination, such as increased staff turnover and lower morale resulting in lower productivity.

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