Discrimination by association and perception

Do not underestimate the significant impact that discrimination can have on your business or organisation.

Discrimination can cause a high employee turnover – if employees feel they are not being treated in a fair way, they are likely to leave at the first chance they get. It can severely affect employees’ morale, motivation and performance. It may cause disputes and taint working relationships. It can negatively impact on your company’s image and reputation. Most of all, discrimination can lead to you falling foul of the Equality Act 2010 and facing expensive claims in an Employment Tribunal.

Avoid this by understanding the different types of discrimination. We will describe, in simple terms, what associative ad perceptive discrimination are and give you easy-to-follow examples.

Associative discrimination

There are cases where a person is discriminated against as a result of someone else’s protected characteristic. In essence, this means that the employee is treated less favourably because of their association with a third party, such as a spouse, partner, sibling or child, who has a protected characteristic as laid down in the Equality Act. This is ‘associative discrimination’ or ‘discrimination by association’.

For example, a job applicant has been offered a role, but this is withdrawn once the employer finds out they have a disabled daughter who requires intense care and attention. This could constitute discrimination because even though the applicant is not disabled, she is associated with someone who is.

Perceptive discrimination

There are also cases where a person is treated less favourably because other people believe they have a protected characteristic, but in fact, they do not. The discrimination is based on perception, rather than reality. This is known as ‘perceptive discrimination’ or ‘discrimination by perception’.

For example, if you do not promote an employee because you think they are homosexual, but in fact, they are heterosexual. Another example would be that you decide to reject a job application from a candidate from a white woman, because you think that she is black due to her African-sounding name.

If you would like to discuss any discrimination issues in your organisation, call your Employment Law Adviser for support.

Director of Legal Services

James Tamm

Whether you’re facing an immediate challenge or just want the reassurance of an expert second opinion, we’re here to offer clear, commercial advice so that you can focus on what you do best.

Our live Client satisfaction rating is currently:

Last Updated:

Urgent Issue?

Why not take a look through our library of carefully created Employment Law documents and templates to see if we have what you need?

Let's start talking on 0345 226 8393 or complete the form below.

More From EW

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Combating coronavirus | FREE advice and resources for employers

Our Coronavirus Advice Hub is open now. Get instant access to regularly updated guidance, sample policies, template risk assessments and more.
 
Click to explore what’s available.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Hi, how can we help?
Click the button below to chat to an expert.

Is Your Business Based in Scotland?

Go straight to our free sector-specific Risk Assessment Templates for Scottish organisations…
 
Click to explore what’s available.
Error: Embedded data could not be displayed.
Read our Privacy Policy.