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When will I be Protected from Discrimination at Work?

Posted by on in Discrimination
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The Equality Act protects us from discrimination at work, including:

Job applicants

•Employees employed under a contract of employment

•      Agency workers - if you’re supplied by an employment agency to do work for another employer or an ‘end user’

•Casual workers

•Zero hours workers



•In certain circumstances, the self-employed. 

The Equality Act will also sometimes extent to protect these categories after they have left their job.

What is a ‘contract personally to do work’? 

In order to be protected from discrimination by the Equality Act, you do not need to have a contract of employment. 

What is important is that you're employed under a contract personally to do work. If you're employed under a contract personally to do work, the Equality Act deems you to be an employee.

A contract personally to do work is an agreement between you and the employer that you will personally do work in exchange for payment.

If you make a discrimination claim, it will be for the employment tribunal to determine whether your relationship is a contract personally to do work.

The tribunal will look at the circumstances of your contractual relationship with your employer, in particularly whether:

•It was agreed that you will carry out  the work personally. For example, if you have the freedom to get someone else to perform the work for you, then you have not personally agreed to do the work.

•You are in business on your own account and are contracting with the employer to provide services, as opposed to giving 

•You are in business on your own account and are contracting with the employer to provide services, as opposed to giving your services as a worker or employee. This would be deemed to be a commercial contract, not a contract to personally do work.

What if I am a volunteer? 

Volunteers are generally not deemed to be employees within the meaning of the Equality Act and are not protected against discrimination.

What if I am an agency worker?

You will be deemed to be an agency worker where you have a contract with an employment agency and they organise for you to do work for another employer or what is known as an end user.

You will be  an agency worker if all the following things apply to you:

•There is a contract between you and an agency

•You are supplied as a worker to an end user by the agency

•Whilst you are working on a job your work is controlled by the end user

•you’re not self-employed.

If you’re an agency worker, both the agency and the end user  have legal obligation not to discriminate against you.If you do suffer discrimination, who you take action against will depend on who’s discriminated against you however it is possible to take action against both parties.

Contact us

For specialist employment law advice, including advice on discrimination in the work place, give us a call today on 01382 234 260 or complete our online enquiry form.

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