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EHRC issue Coronavirus guidance for employers to help avoid discrimination claims

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

The EHRC have issued ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employers‘ to ensure the decisions they make in response to the pandemic do not directly or indirectly discriminate against employees with protected characteristics. The EHRC appreciate that employers are having to make quick and difficult decisions and so to protect themselves from discrimination claims and make sure they are doing the best by employees, employers must think about the equality impacts before making decisions and the guidance provides a list of important points to consider. This will help make sure employers are not discriminating and reduce the impact a decision may have on people with protected characteristics. The ‘how to’ guides include details of an employer’s duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees, their obligations to support pregnant women and those on maternity leave and how to make the right, and lawful, decisions, particularly around dismissing and furloughing staff in the current climate.

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