Discrimination at work — part three: protected characteristics and the perception-reality gap

Discrimination claims accounted for 15.3 per cent of all the employment claims brought in 2011–12, and a great many more were settled before reaching the tribunal door. From an employee’s perspective, discrimination claims are a relatively attractive proposition as there is no service requirement, and compensation is unlimited. Whether meritorious or not, defending these claims eats into limited resources. No amount of best practice will totally eradicate discriminatory conduct or allegations of it, but it is possible to minimise exposure in this area. The starting point is to understand the level of employee knowledge in terms of what is lawful and what it is unlawful, what is acceptable conduct and what is not.

This report examines employees’ knowledge or perception of which characteristics are protected by anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. Our separate report on workplace banter looks at attitudes of employees towards office banter and the extent to which they understand the difference between lawful and unlawful conduct that can lead to harassment claims…

If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Allen & Overy briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Analysis from The Lawyer

  • Panel reviews

    Panel reviews 2014: The chosen ones

    Which firms are cutting it in this era of slimline rosters, and who are the GC new brooms making clean sweeps? The Lawyer can reveal all

  • training

    Accutrainee: Revolution postponed

    At the time of its launch Accutrainee was described as a revolutionary change to the training model. Has it proved to be so? Not really.

View more analysis from The Lawyer


One Bishops Square
E1 6AD

Turnover (£m): 1,234.30
No. of lawyers: 2,194 (UK 200)
Jurisdiction: UK
No. of offices: 11
No. of qualified lawyers: 369 (International 50)
No. of partners: 81