What is 'detriment short of a dismissal'?

This is a technical legal term used to describe intentional negative treatment of an employee (or deliberate failure to act) short of dismissal that has a significant negative physical or economic impact on them and that results, at least in part, from behaviour such as blowing the whistle on bad employer behaviour, or trying to exercise statutory employment rights, such as the right to take maternity leave

An example of detriment short of dismissal would be a decision by your employer to withhold a promotion because you have engaged in 'whistleblowing'.

The threat of negative action can also be a detriment, even if it doesn't actually happen because it deters you from exercising your statutory employment rights.

If you believe you have suffered a detriment at work, the first step usually is to raise the issue informally to see what can be done. If this is unsuccessful, you may want to use your employer’s formal grievance procedure. Every employer must have one.

If you think you have suffered a detriment for reasons relating to discrimination, consult Acas' guidance on asking your employer questions about suspected discrimination (PDF, 164KB).

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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