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Discrimination Legal & HR Advice

In broad terms, discrimination occurs if an employee with a “protected characteristic” is treated differently or less favorably than another employee who does not have that characteristic.

“Protected characteristics” are defined in the Equality Act 2010 as:-

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

An employee does not require any length of service in order to commence a claim in respect of discrimination. This is a day one right. In fact claims can be commenced by individuals who are unsuccessful in applying for a role in your business if they feel that the reason is related to a protected characteristic.

Unlike unfair dismissal proceedings damages in relation to discrimination claims can be unlimited.

The most common claims we come across in this area relate to sex, race, and disability discrimination.

An employer can discriminate against an employee in a number of different ways. This can be directly for example not employing an individual because they are a woman.

It can be indirect discrimination. An example of indirect discrimination may be a job advert with a requirement that only people six foot or above may apply. This may indirectly disadvantage women who as a group are generally smaller than their male counterparts.

Another form or discriminatory behavior is harassment which occurs if an employee is subject to an intimidating and hostile environment. The most common example of this is offensive jokes or banter in the workplace but often this claim arises as a result of how capability meetings are conducted by line managers.

Behaviours out of work for example; parties, away days or Friday night drinks, can also give rise to a claim if the event can be deemed to be in the course of employment. Employers can be liable for acts of employees and this is called vicarious liability. Individuals can also be named in proceedings and so liability can be personal.

Victimisation arises if an individual is put to a disadvantage after for example raising a grievance about their employer/ line manager.

Employees have three months less than one day from the act of discrimination about which they complain to commence a claim. An employee need not leave employment to commence a claim.

Discrimination is a complex area.

We can fully advise as to each type of discrimination claim if you are in the position of having to defend one. Taking timely advice is the key.

We can assist with ACAS Early Conciliation and if that is not successful we can draft a response to a claim which will give you the best possible chance of defending the claim. You will only have 28 days to lodge a defence when you receive a claim so remember to act promptly upon receipt.

We can take the stress out of this for you because it's what we do every day. Rest assured that our advice will always be commercial and with your best interests in mind. We also provide in-house discrimination awareness training for our clients

For more information please contact us on 0113 322 9222 to speak to one of our employment law specialists.

Our Employment Law Team

Marie Walsh
Employment Solicitor & Workplace Mediator

Marie Walsh is a Director/Employment Law Solicitor & fully trained workplace mediator. Marie heads the HR & Employment Law team and has a wealth of experience in assisting businesses and individuals with a wide spectrum of employment law matters. She is also well known for her excellent work in the area of settlement agreements.

Andy Boyde
Associate Employment Law

Andy Boyde is a former professional rugby union player and employment solicitor. Andy qualified as a solicitor in 2015 and specialises in advising individuals, owner managed businesses and SMEs. Andy provides sensible, straight-forward and commercial advice to his clients.

Victoria Horner
Senior Associate, Employment Law

Victoria is an associate at the firm and an experienced solicitor in the Employment team. She provides expert practical advice and assists both individuals and Commercial clients. Victoria is approachable, reliable and straight talking.

What our clients say about Consilia Legal on


  • 5 star review  Andy Boyde made the process straight forward and easy (Redundancy contract). I found him very knowledgable and was able to answer all my questions with ease. I would recommend the firm for employment matter.

    thumb Mark Timmons
    2/26/2020

    5 star review  Marie Walsh is undoubtedly the best employment solicitor in Leeds, if not the whole of Yorkshire. I always knew this from her great reputation and she recently assisted me with a very complex and difficult matter. Marie handled the situation with a pragmatic approach and endless patience. I cannot recommend her enough - she is an absolute superstar! I also dealt with Andy Boyde in her absence who was extremely professional and great to deal with.

    thumb Bin Sparkes
    1/05/2020
  • 5 star review  Marie and her staff have been very helpful. Marie had assisted me previously with an employment law issues so I had no hesitation in engaging her again. She helped me through an unpleasant job related matter when I was at a low ebb and feeling unable to fight my own corner. As before Marie gave sound, straight forward advice and took over the handling of communication with my employer until the matter was resolved. When I had to take action myself Marie was always there to consult if I was worried about something. I would thoroughly recommend Consilia Legal to anyone.

    thumb Amanda Keers
    6/24/2019

    5 star review  I emailed Sarah at Consilia and received a very quick response. Sarah agreed to call me the following day and called me at the agreed time so no waiting for the call! Sarah was fantastic, she offered great advice and left me feeling alot more positive and informed on my situation. I cannot recommend highly enough, professional and caring and highly informative. Thank you

    thumb kate Fricker
    3/26/2020
  • 5 star review  Finding good legal advice and an empathetic approach is essential when the situation you are dealing with is emotionally fraught. I couldn't have asked for more from Consolia. Listened carefully, provided options and strategies and made me feel they were looking after my interests not their own. Quick, efficient and effective communications. No hesitation recommending Andy and the team in Leeds.

    thumb John Yates
    8/04/2020

    5 star review  Honest , sensible and efficient advice given over telephone . Very impressed . Would recommend

    thumb alison purdy
    4/26/2020
  • 5 star review  When my autistic son was suspended from work, we felt he had been treated unfairly in the workplace because of his disability and needed help and advice from a specialist employment lawyer. Consilia Legal were highly recommended to me. I dealt with both Marie and Vicky and I can honestly say they were both amazing. They were both very professional and caring. Initially, I was worried that I would find speaking to a solicitor confusing and complicated but they simplified things so I was able to gain a better understanding of employment law. Vicky then delt with my son’s case and I felt we built a very good relationship. She was so easy to talk to and I found her very approachable, which made me feel very comfortable. Because of my son’s disability, our aim was to seek a quick and satisfactory resolution rather than a lengthy, damaging conflict. Vicky was always there to advise me on the best course of action to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible and to help us achieve a positive outcome (which we did). Thank you Vicky for all your help.

    thumb Julie Goodwin
    4/15/2021

    5 star review  Consilia Legal was recommended by a friend. Victoria provided excellent guidance in a timely manner. Would definitely recommend.

    thumb Alison Metcalfe
    4/06/2020
  • 5 star review  I found Consilia on LinkedIn when having trouble with own ET. Victoria was my assigned solicitor and she was amazing. She guided me, lobbied on my behalf and gave me emotional support when I was feeling angry, upset or defeated. She gave me a metaphorical hand to hold and guided me through the bureaucracy. I would highly recommend Consilia Legal. Their staff are professionals with compassion and understanding. I can honestly say, I would not be heading to ET without them. Thank you so much!

    thumb Zoe Rollinson
    3/15/2021

    5 star review  I would like to say a big thank you to Emma Cartlidge Employment Solicitor. She was extremely professional, friendly and polite and very thorough in her work. Emma helped me with my matter making sure to stay in touch and keep me fully informed at all stages. The service from Consillia Legal has been amazing. Everyone I have spoken to has been super friendly and so helpful including Matt on Reception and Victoria who I spoke to for initial advice. This is definitely a 5-star rated law firm and I would not hesitate to recommend Emma and her colleagues. A big thank you !

    thumb RAVINDER Heer
    1/09/2020
  • 5 star review  Emma Cartlidge (Employment Solicitor) and the Team were absolutely fantastic to work with. Clear communication/informative. She got the job done to an exceptional standard and was very quick about it. Thank you so much, you were amazing! 🙂

    thumb Harry Calvert
    1/01/2021

    5 star review  Very professional and got the right result for me in a very timely abs efficient manner. Great service, good advice and an excellent result I couldn’t have got on my own

    thumb Jon Geldart
    5/23/2019
  • 5 star review  I'd like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to Andy Boyde for helping me with my employment issue. For someone who was in a difficult situation his knowledge and expertise helped guide me through the process. He always provided quick responses and was readily available to provide expert advice whenever I needed it. I was impressed with the knowledge and professionalism shown and would recommend him if you are ever in a complicated employment situation.

    thumb Richard Jones
    2/26/2021

    5 star review  Received a really good service from Marie and the team including Emma, who offered valuable support throughout. I contacted Consilia following a recommendation from a union representative. Was given great advise through her trusted associate who offered an accurate and professional assessment. Marie secured a really good outcome due to her knowledge, perseverance, conscientiousness and genuine desire to try and get the best outcome on my behalf. A lot of genuine empathy and respect expressed and a brilliant negotiator. Very well informed, experienced and brilliant communicator. True to her word re costs as discussion was upfront and honest. Very reasonable rate compared to other firms. Would recommend to others Thank you very much!

    thumb Elaben Mistry Jackson
    5/26/2019
  • 5 star review  Great service provided by Andy from initial contact all the way through to completion. Very helpful and knowledgeable and helped to get everything sorted out quickly. I would highly recommend.

    thumb liam miller
    3/06/2020

    5 star review  me and my partner came to Consila legal to get my partner's divorce done. We where very lucky to get Sarah Manning to help us with this she has been amazing from start to almost finished now. She has always responded professionally and promptly we couldn't of asked for any better thank you from the both of us.

    thumb Adam Burt
    1/25/2021
  • 5 star review  Spoke with Andy Boyde for some legal advice, he couldn't personally help me with my case, however he spent 20 minutes of his time on the phone with me offering advice and he followed up by sending me an email with very helpful information. I would highly recommend Andy, he was professional and very helpful even when the situation wasn't benefitting himself or the business he worked for, so I can only imagine his level of service if it was.

    thumb Ben Vickers
    9/06/2021

    5 star review  When I found myself requiring legal advice for an employment issue Victoria was definitely the best choice. Victoria was very responsive extremely professional and explained the process to me in a clear and easy to understand manner. She made what could have been a stressful situation an easy and straight forward process. Highly recommend!

    thumb Debra Roscoe
    2/18/2021
  • 5 star review  I could not recommend Emma enough. As someone who is pretty clueless about legalities, Emma ensured everything was explained both concisely and with sufficient detail. Emma always made herself available when I had questions and was professional at all times. I would without a doubt use Consilia Legal again especially Emma - she is an asset to the company! Thanks again 🙂

    thumb Rebecca Davison
    1/05/2021

    5 star review  Being in a situation where you require legal advice and action in an employment situation is never easy. However Victoria was absolutely fantastic. She didn't skip a beat, she made the law easy to understand around certain actions I could take, and she delivered all of the service in a truly personable yet professional manner. Being in a situation like that can feel so daunting, but having someone like Victoria by your side, you feel invincible. Thank you again for everything.

    thumb Francesca Fielding
    1/20/2021
  • 5 star review  If you need expert, pragmatic, timely employment law advice that you can trust then I highly recommend Marie Walsh and her team. When faced with a tricky issue full of 'shades of grey', Marie guided us through the process, step-by-step providing both an approach and letter templates. She was with us every step of the way, checking with us after every meeting, and discussing the next step. Alongside this, vitally for us, she understood our values and our commitment to not only complying with law, but also doing what's 'fair' and 'right' for all parties. Highly recommended.

    thumb Melanie Bryan
    12/08/2020

    5 star review  Thanks so much to Marie and the team for such a top class service for helping me out of a difficult situation. Would recommend to anyone in how quick everything was, always felt like my best interests were taken care of. Marie is truly an outstanding lawyer and wish her all the best!

    thumb A P
    2/23/2021
  • 5 star review  Cannot recommend this company enough. Seriously on the ball, ring you back when they say they will and completely exceed expectations. Thank you Andy and all at Consilia.

    thumb Dawn o'driscoll
    4/21/2021

    5 star review  I could not have asked any more from Andy. He was really friendly and helped me through a very difficult time. He did not waist time, both to make sure we resolved the matter quickly but also to keep cost to a minimum. I’m extremely happy with his services.

    thumb Tatiana Sebastiao
    12/24/2019
  • 5 star review  Brilliant solicitors firm. This is my first time using a solicitors and Emma really made me feel at ease with her attentiveness and professionalism. She kept me informed at every step of the way. I don't hope to have any legal issues in the future but if I do, these guys are first people I will call. Thank you Emma and Consilia.

    thumb Miss Maynard
    9/10/2020

    5 star review  Consilia Legal have been a huge part of my toolkit this year... they have been so proactive with their updates - which are written in easy/quick to read updates - sent out at precisely the right time - when everyone needs it the most. Their energy and positivity throughout has been inspiring - we are truly grateful. Thank you all.

    thumb Walkers Limited
    12/09/2020
  • 5 star review  Highly recommend this team that punches well above its weight. Good leadership, communication & advice. All round pleasure to work with. Have known them for over 6 years and would use them every time.

    thumb Mark Byrne
    11/12/2020

    5 star review  Sarah Manning has been fantastic with our family law matter. She is very good and professional with a very quick response time. Sarah has put my mind at ease on many occasions, given ongoing support and is attentive to special needs too. I recommend her services to everyone as she puts her heart into it for you.

    thumb Michala Fawthrop
    1/20/2021
  • 5 star review  Marie, Andy, Victoria and Emma were exceptional in their help, advice and support – all done with a non-nonsense super friendly approach. Really took the stress out of a difficult corporate employment process. I felt safe and confident in their capable hands, recommending them highly.

    thumb Sophie Webb
    6/03/2019

    5 star review  Working with Andy Boyde was just what I needed, a person who could respond quickly, professionally and get to the crooks of the matter and explain in plain English what it all meant and what we needed to do. Great experience and customer service just when you need. I would highly recommend Andy and Consilia to anyone.

    thumb dave helm
    12/01/2020
  • 5 star review  Marie and her team are brilliant. They are always professional whilst being personable and great fun to work with. Their updates during the Coronavirus Pandemic have been a lifesaver. Would definitely recommend!

    thumb Alex Macleod
    12/08/2020

    5 star review  I had to get a Solicitor a pretty short notice, and Andy was able to see me the same day. He made me feel very at ease and explained everything to me so I could understand it better. I would highly recommend Consilia to everyone Thank you again Andy for your fantastic advice and support

    thumb Kelly Rawson
    12/18/2019

Awards and Accreditations

Laura Clapton
Director, Family Solicitor & Mediator
0113 887 4672
0786 023 2975
laura@consilialegal.co.uk
LinkedIn
Google+

Fill out the form below and Laura will get back to you as soon as possible:

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Marie Walsh
Director, Employment Solicitor & Mediator
0113 887 4670
07736 252 681
marie@consilialegal.co.uk
LinkedIn
Google+

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    Emma Cartlidge
    Employment Law Solicitor
    0113 887 4674
    ecartlidge@consilialegal.co.uk
    LinkedIn

    Fill out the form below and Emma will get back to you as soon as possible:

      Andy Boyde
      Associate Employment Law Solicitor
      0113 322 9222
      a.boyde@consilialegal.co.uk
      LinkedIn

      Fill out the form below and Andy will get back to you as soon as possible:

        Victoria Horner
        Senior Associate, Employment Law
        0113 887 4673
        v.horner@consilialegal.co.uk
        LinkedIn

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