It’s a perfectly natural response to protect your colleagues from harassment by immediately notifying your superiors about any existing case of it.
Sadly, there are still some who don’t understand that and look down on you for bringing the unlawful act to light.
The process is called victimisation and remains a common problem throughout many workplaces.
Unfortunately, there are still many staff members who are unable to recognise it correctly or simply don’t truly understand it. With that in mind, below you’ll find a few things that every employee should know about victimisation.
First of all, you should understand that ignoring the harassment is only going to hurt you and the business in the long run. Moreover, you should know what falls into “protected acts” and what are the protected characteristics. It’s also important to become aware of ways in which victimisation can occur. Read on and learn all there is to know about the victimisation process!
What Makes People Suffer From Victimisation?
Called victimisation in the UK and retaliation in the US, there are a number of reasons why you might be subjected to such treatment, so it’s important that you become aware of them.
To start with, if the problem worker is your supervisor or manager, they’re not going to like you for reporting their unlawful behaviour. They are in a position of power and consider themselves untouchable and absolute masters of their own environment. If you make a case known and after that you’re experiencing reduced workload, have your working conditions unfavourably changed, or even outright dismissed from your job, it can mean you’re being victimised by your employer.
Furthermore, if your colleagues are aware of the harassment, they’re also likely to look at you with a lot of suspicion and distrust. In many cases, they won’t understand why you brought it up in the first place since you should’ve kept your head down. Simply put, you’re not going to be getting much in the way of support from them.
Another common reason for victimisation is the fact that you’re the only one who has made the complaint. To someone who isn’t in the know, it looks like you’re trying to tarnish the name of another person, and there’s no proof that you aren’t. If you want to bring a case of discrimination against your employer, you should contact a law firm that has experience in such cases.
What Are The Protected Acts?
There are a number of acts that you can do under the existing laws and be protected due to them. These include:
- Making an official complaint about discrimination in your workplace.
- Being helpful to someone else making a claim by providing evidence or information.
- Making an allegation about someone who breached the Equality Act.
- Doing any other action in connection with said Act.
What Are The Protected Characteristics?
There are a number of characteristics that are protected by discrimination laws, and you should know about them.
The first of these is gender. It doesn’t include only biological males and females, but also people who identify with a different gender or who don’t identify with any gender at all.
Another protected characteristic is your race, which refers to your ethnicity. It covers things like colour, nationality, and culture. Your employer also has no right to discriminate against you on the basis of your religion.
The fourth characteristic is your disability, which reflects your mobility problems or mental state. Employers have a well-defined recruitment policy, and if these include disabled people, it means they fully accept what it means to employ such people. Any attack on such workers is a form of harassment.
Sexual orientation is the next characteristic that is treated as such. Moreover, age and marital status are also protected. You can’t be judged based on how old you are and how does your private life looks like. If any such incidents do occur, you are legally allowed to notify the necessary authorities.
Know That Victimisation Is Detrimental to All Sides
It’s essential to be aware of the fact that victimisation isn’t just a problem that affects you. It’s also a problem for your colleagues and the business as a whole as it negatively impacts how you work together.
Moreover, there should be no place for discrimination at work, and everybody needs a chance to complain in a case when their rights are violated. But as you’re victimised, your co-workers may feel threatened to make any reports in the future when other cases of harassment occur.
What Can You Do?
Remember that you have a right to make a complaint and so nobody can persecute you for it; therefore, victimisation is illegal under the Equality Act 2010. You could try resolving the issue internally by approaching your harasser, or you might contact Acas to solve the disputes informally. Ultimately, you can get in touch with a solicitor and make a claim to the employment tribunal.
Victimisation is a severe problem that many employees face in their workplace, and there are many cases where it’s still not properly recognised. Hopefully, this article has helped you gain insight into what victimisation is, why and how it happens, and what is the best way to handle it.
Victimisation has no winners in the end – it’s a harmful act that affects all sides involved and, thus, it should be dealt with immediately. You don’t have to suffer silently or go through it alone. Remember that you have rights, and, should anything happen, you need to take all the necessary steps to protect yourself and inform others about such unlawful behaviour.