What is victimisation?
Victimisation refers to treating someone less favourably because they have complained about direct or indirect discrimination or harassment at work, or they have supported someone else to do this. This may include taking a case to Employment Tribunal.
When Jason raised a grievance about homophobic 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, Jason has noticed that his team are now treating him differently than they were before, and they no longer invite him to any work socials, which were a regular weekly event. They have also stopped talking when he enters the staff room or started speaking in hushed voices when he’s around them.
If an employee can show that they are being treated less favourably in comparison to other employees because they have issued a grievance, this could be classed as victimisation and would be unlawful.
Complaints of victimisation need to be made separately to any previous or ongoing 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.