Victimisation is a specific term used in discrimination law to describe action by an employer, against an employee, in retaliation for involvement in bringing, or supporting, a complaint of discrimination.
Examples include refusal to promote an employee because he or she has previously invoked a grievance procedure, or given evidence against the employer at a tribunal.
Victimisation can also take place after employment has finished – for example, where an employer refuses to follow its normal post-employment procedure and fails to give a reference to a former employee because he or she had brought a tribunal claim for discrimination against it.
The deadline for bringing an employment tribunal claim for victimisation is very short – just three months.
The first step before bringing any tribunal claim is to submit an Acas Early Conciliation Form. This step is compulsory. You will not be able to bring your tribunal claim without it.
Note that if you are being victimised for trade union-related reasons, because you have engaged in whistleblowing, or for acting as a workplace or health and safety rep, you may be entitled to interim relief in any tribunal claim you make.
Speak to your rep urgently if you think you may qualify for interim relief. An interim relief application must be made to the tribunal within seven days of the act complained of. Acas early conciliation does not apply to applications for interim relief.