Indirect discrimination is concerned with acts, decisions or policies which are not intended to treat anyone less favourably, but which, in practice, have the effect of disadvantaging a group of people with a particular protected characteristic.
For example, a dress code which applies to all employees but prevents employees of a particular religion wearing certain items of clothing which their religion requires them to wear.
You may be able to defend an indirect discrimination claim if you can demonstrate that your actions are or were ‘a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’. To do this you must be able to evidence that you had a legitimate aim corresponding to a real business need, and that the policy or practice was a proportionate means of achieving that aim.
Indirect discrimination risks need to be considered when rejecting flexible working requests. For more information see:
F1 – How to guide – Flexible working
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