It is a matter of common sense and respect in the vast majority of UK workplaces that discrimination against any team members constitutes unacceptable behaviour. Yet whether discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability takes place with malicious intent, or whether offence is unintentionally caused, it still happens. It happens in small owner managed male dominated blue collar businesses, and it happens in multinational organisations with substantial human resources know-how at their disposal. It even happens, according to ex employee Alfred Bacchus, within central government bodies specialising in communications.

Mr Bacchus claims he was victimised by his ex employers at the Government Communications Headquarters, (commonly referred to GCHQ), because he is Asian. He believes that the bullying came to a head when he attempted to get a report he had compiled about racial discrimination at GCHQ published, culminating in constructive dismissal. He hopes to sue his former employer for £150,000, and the hearing of his case by a London employment tribunal is pending.

Workplace bullying under any circumstances is an issue that deserves tackling. Yet employment law can work in mysterious ways. The overriding majority of adults are more than aware of what is right and what is wrong in terms of their interactions with their colleagues, their superiors, and their juniors. However, what might be shrugged off by some staff members as workaday office banter might be justifiable grounds for serious accusations of workplace discrimination at an employment tribunal for others.

The outsourced employment law and human resources services provided by us, at NorthgateArinso, help businesses of all sizes to understand what constitutes workplace discrimination, on the grounds of race or any other protected characteristics. We also work with businesses to put their anti-discrimination plans in to action in order to remain firmly within the boundaries of employment law.

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