What is victimisation?
Victimisation refers to treating someone less favourably because they have complained about discrimination, indirect discrimination or harassment at work, or they have supported someone else to do this. This can include taking a case to Employment Tribunal.
When Jason raised a grievance about transphobic comments being made in his office his manager took action. He informed all employees that these comments would not be tolerated and as a result they stopped. However, he has noticed that his team are treating him differently than they were before; they no longer invite him to any work socials which were a regular weekly event. They noticeably stop talking when he enters the staff room or start speaking in hushed voices when he’s around them.
If an employee can show that they are being treated differently because they have issued a grievance and that treatment is less favourable compared to other employees, this could be classed as victimisation and would be unlawful.
Complaints of victimisation need to be made separately to any previous or on-going grievances. Due to the nature of victimisation it can feel difficult to challenge or prove. However, employers have a duty to look into complaints and address behaviour. It may be best to try and address victimisation directly or informally with a manager. If this is unsuccessful it is possible to follow a formal grievance and tribunal action.