Victimisation at work

    This article outlines what workplace victimisation is in the UK and whether or not you might be entitled to compensation for having been victimised. It considers what evidence you will need to support your claim and how to make a claim.

    It provides links to other relevant articles on this website, particularly in relation to discrimination and whistleblowing, and the means to contact Monaco Solicitors directly if you’d like to find out what help we can offer you with your victimisation claim.

    Badly treated for asserting your rights at work?

    You may have a victimisation claim

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    What is workplace victimisation?

    Victimisation is when your employer or a co-worker treats you unfairly or discriminates against you because you’ve asserted your rights under one or more employment laws. This could include making a complaint about discrimination, participating in a whistleblowing process, or even supporting a colleague who has taken such actions.

    Victimisation is unlawful and is an important element of anti-discrimination laws in the UK. These laws are in place to protect you from being mistreated or suffering adverse consequences for standing up for your rights or the rights of others in the workplace.

    Examples of victimisation at work

    Here are two examples of what victimisation can look like in the workplace:

    1. Discrimination Complaint: Imagine you work at a company and notice that a colleague is consistently paid less than others doing the same job because of their sex. You’re concerned about this unjust treatment, and decide to make a formal complaint about sex discrimination. In retaliation, your boss starts giving you unfavourable shifts, reducing your responsibilities, or making snide comments about your competence.
    2. Whistleblowing: Suppose you discover that your employer is involved in fraudulent activities that endanger public safety. As a responsible whistleblower, you report this wrongdoing to the appropriate authorities. In response, your employer starts undermining your reputation within the company, isolating you from team activities, or even threatening to fire you if you don’t withdraw your complaint.

    In both of these scenarios, the mistreatment you’re facing because of your actions to uphold the law and protect your/ your colleagues’ rights, is a form of victimisation.

    When might you claim workplace victimisation?

    You might have grounds to claim you’d been victimised at work if you can prove that:

    You were subjected to unfavourable treatment or detrimental actions in the workplace.
    This mistreatment was a direct result of your involvement in a legally protected activity, such as making a discrimination complaint, whistleblowing, or supporting a colleague in doing so.

    However, it’s advisable to consult with a legal professional to determine if your specific circumstances actually do meet the criteria for a victimisation claim.

    What compensation could you get for a workplace victimisation claim?

    If your victimisation claim was successful, you could be entitled to compensation. The amount you could receive would vary depending on the specifics of your case. Compensation typically covers:

    • Financial Loss: This includes any income or benefits you’ve lost due to victimisation.
    • Injury to Feelings: You may be compensated for the emotional distress, humiliation, or anxiety caused by the victimisation.
      Punitive Damages: In rare cases, the court may award additional damages to punish the employer for their unlawful behaviour and deter future misconduct.

    The exact compensation awarded would be determined by the employment tribunal and be based on factors such as the severity of the victimisation and its impact on your life.

    What evidence do you need to bring a workplace victimisation claim?

    Evidence is the cornerstone of any legal claim, and a victimisation claim is no exception. To build a strong case, you should try  to collect  the following types of evidence:

    • Documentation: Keep records of any relevant emails, letters, memos, or notes that document the victimisation incidents.
    • Witness Statements: If there were witnesses to the victimisation, ask them to provide written statements outlining what they observed.
    • Medical Records: If you’ve suffered physical or psychological harm due to victimisation, seek medical treatment and retain records of your visits and diagnoses.
    • Your account of what happened: Be prepared to provide a detailed account of the victimisation incidents, including dates, times, locations, and the individuals involved.

    Having solid evidence significantly strengthens your case and increases your chances of a successful claim.

    Is it worth making a victimisation claim if that’s your only claim?

    Yes, it can be worth pursuing a victimisation claim even if you don’t have other claims. Victimisation is a severe violation of your rights, and pursuing a claim seeks justice for yourself and also helps prevent future misconduct in your workplace. It sets an important precedent that unlawful mistreatment will not be tolerated.

    How to start a workplace victimisation claim

    To initiate a victimisation claim in England and Wales, follow these steps:

    • Seek legal advice: Consult with an experienced employment law solicitor or adviser to discuss your case and assess its merits.
    • Acas Early Conciliation: Before making a claim, you must notify the Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service (Acas) about your intention to bring a claim. Acas will attempt to facilitate a resolution between you and your employer without the need for a tribunal.
    • Complete an ET1 form: If early conciliation doesn’t lead to a resolution, you can submit an ET1 form with the Employment Tribunal to get your claim underway. The ET1 form enables you to outline the details of your case and the remedies you seek.
    • Gather evidence: Collect and organise all relevant evidence to support your claim – as outlined earlier.
    • Attend the Tribunal Hearing: Your case will be heard by an employment tribunal, and both you and your employer will have the opportunity to present your arguments and evidence.
    • Await the outcome: The tribunal will make its decision, and if it finds in your favour, you may be awarded compensation.

    Making a claim for victimisation?

    Firstly talk to an employment law expert

    Contact us
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     Getting help with your victimisation case

    If you think you’ve been victimised at work for asserting your legal rights, get in touch with Monaco Solicitors to seek legal advice and to help you take action to secure justice and compensation.

    Our legal team has handled hundreds of workplace victimisation claims, so we get straight to the nub of the matter and can give you a prompt expert decision on whether you have a case that we can help you with.

    Contact us today:

    • via our website here
    • by phone on 020 7717 5259
    • by email: communications@monacosolicitors.co.uk.