chapter 6 section 1
You can also get information and advice from websites such as: www.do-it.org.uk , www.volunteering.org.uk and www.justdosomething.net . It is against the law for employers to discriminate against someone at work. This means that a person should not be refused work, training or promotion or treated less favourably because of their:
• nationality, race, colour or ethnic group
• sexual orientation
In Northern Ireland, the law also bans discrimination on grounds of religious belief or political opinion.
The law also says that men and women who do the same job, or work of equal value, should receive equal pay. Almost all the laws protecting people at work apply equally to people doing part-time or full-time jobs.
There are, however, a small number of jobs where discrimination laws do not apply. For example, discrimination is not against the law when the job involves working for someone in their own home.
You can get more information about the law and racial discrimination from the Commission for Racial Equality. The Equal Opportunities Commission can help with sex discrimination issues and the Disability Rights Commission deals with disability issues. Each of these organisations offers advice and information and can, in some cases, support individuals. From October 2007 their functions will be brought together in a new Commission for Equality and Human Rights. You can get more information about the laws protecting people at work from the Citizens Advice Bureau website: www.adviceguide.org.uk .
In Northern Ireland, the Equality Commission provides information and advice in respect of all forms of unlawful discrimination.
The Commission for Racial Equality, St Dunstan’s House, 201-211 Borough High Street, London, SE11 1GZ, telephone: 020 7939 000, fax 020 7939 0001, www.cre.gov.uk
The Equal Opportunities Commission, Arndale House, Arndale Centre, Manchester M4 3EQ, telephone: 0845 601 5901, fax: 0161 838 8312, www.eoc.org.uk
The Disability Rights Commission, DRC Helpline, FREEPOST MID02164, Stratford upon Avon CV37 9BR, telephone: 08457 622 633, fax 08457 778 878, www.drc.org.uk
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, Equality House,
7 -9 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast BT2 7DP, telephone: 028 90 500600, www.equalityni.org
Sexual harassment Sexual harassment can take different forms. This includes
• indecent remarks
• comments about the way you look that make you feel uncomfortable or humiliated
• comments or questions about your sex life
• inappropriate touching or sexual demands
• bullying behaviour or being treated in a way that is rude, hostile, degrading or humiliating because of your sex
Men and women can be victims of sexual harassment at work. If this happens to you, tell a friend, colleague or trade union representative and ask the person harassing you to stop. It is a good idea to keep a written record of what happened, the days and times when it happened and who else may have seen or heard the harassment. If the problem continues, report the person to your employer or trade union Employers are responsible for the behaviour of their employees while they are at work. They should treat complaints of sexual harassment very seriously and take effective action to deal with the problem. If you are not satisfied with your employer’s response, you can ask for advice and support from the Equal Opportunities Commission, your trade union or the Citizens Advice Bureau.