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16 Racial Discrimination

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1. Introduction

2. When discrimination can happen

3. What the law says

4. Discrimination at work

It is against the law for an employer to discriminate against you because of your race, when choosing someone for a job, and when deciding which staff will be:

  • promoted;
  • given benefits at work, such as training;
  • disciplined;
  • dismissed; or
  • made redundant.

Applying for a job

It is against the law for an employer to discriminate in the following cases:

  • When deciding who should be offered a job. This includes the job description, the ‘person specification’ (the description of the skills, experience and qualifications needed to do the job), the application form, the short-listing process, interviewing and final selection.
  • In the terms of the employment contract, such as pay, holidays or working conditions.
  • By deliberately not considering your application.

The Race Relations Act protects employees (including temporary employees) and contract workers. It also makes it unlawful for recruitment agencies, unions and partnerships to discriminate.

5. Harassment at work

6. Discrimination when renting or buying a house or flat

7. Discrimination at school or college

8. Discrimination when buying goods or services

9. What you can do about discrimination

10. Going to an employment tribunal

11. Going to court

12. The Human Rights Act

13. Further help

14. About this leaflet


This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with the Commission for Racial Equality.

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Leaflet Version: November 2007

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