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About victimisation

Victimisation is when an individual is treated in a detrimental way because they have made a complaint or intend to make a complaint about discrimination or harassment or have given evidence or intend to give evidence relating to a complaint about discrimination or harassment.

They may become labelled a ‘troublemaker', denied promotion or training, or be ‘sent to Coventry' by their colleagues. If this happens or if the employer fails to take reasonable steps to prevent it from happening, they may be ordered to pay compensation. Individuals who victimise may also be ordered to pay compensation.

Example: An employee claims discrimination against their employer on the grounds of age and a work colleague gives evidence on their behalf at the employment tribunal. When the work colleague applies for promotion her application is rejected even though she is able to show she has all the necessary skills and experience. Her manager maintains she is a ‘troublemaker' because she had given evidence at the tribunal and therefore should not be promoted. This is victimisation.

Discrimination, harassment or victimisation following the end of a working relationship covers issues such as references either written or verbal.

Example: A manager is approached by someone from another organisation. He says that Ms ‘A' has applied for a job and asks for a reference. The manager says that he cannot recommend her as she was not accepted by other staff because she was ‘too young and inexperienced'. This is direct discrimination due to age.