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What you need to show the employment tribunal in a discrimination at work claim

This advice applies to Wales

If you have been discriminated against at work and you are unable to sort out the problem you may want to take a case to an employment tribunal. On this page you can check what an employment tribunal does with the evidence presented. There are some examples of what you may have to do to prepare your case.

Before you read this page see Discrimination at work - getting evidence for an employment tribunal case.

What an employment tribunal will consider in discrimination cases

Once a tribunal has heard all the evidence in a discrimination case, it will generally consider the evidence that has been presented in two stages.The reason consideration of the evidence is in two stages is that the facts of the case have to be established before the explanations can be looked at.

Stage 1

The tribunal will consider first whether or not the claimant has established facts from which, on the balance of probabilities and in the absence of an adequate explanation, it could conclude that the employer has contravened the Equality Act 2010.

Stage 2

When you have established such facts, the tribunal will then look at whether the employer can show, again on the balance of probabilities, that there is an adequate explanation for the discriminatory treatment.

As a discrimination case can become very complicated, not least because technically there can be both direct and indirect discrimination, the type of evidence you present is very important.

You must get specialist support to prepare your case for the employment tribunal in a discrimination claim. There are three examples below that give you an idea of what evidence you will need to prove your claim.

You may be able to get help from your local Citizens Advice Bureau, Trade Union or other legal advice centre.

Example 1. You weren’t given an interview for a job – you think it was because of your religion or beliefs. This could be very difficult to prove. You would need evidence from the prospective employer that comments had been made about your religion or beliefs. The employer may need to provide proof that this did not happen.
Example 2. Equipment at work has been updgraded. You disability means that it is much harder for you to work quickly with the new equipment. You are moved to a different job but asked to take less pay. You think you have been discriminated against because of your disability. Your employer had to introduce the new equipment to stay solvent because your department was holding up the rest of the production line.
Example 3. You are a woman with substantial experience in your job. You apply for promotion. You do get an interview but a male colleague with less experience than you gets the promoted post. You do think that your employer discriminates on the grounds of sex. You want to make a claim at an employment tribunal. You will have to show that there was active discrimination in the interview process, for example, notes from someone on the interview panel showing that they favoured the man because he is a man. You may also have to find statistics for recruitment over a period to demonstrate sex discrimination. If your employer cannot provide such information you could argue that without this type of record keeping the employer has no method to prove there is not discrimination taking place in recruitment.

Other useful information

Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS)

If you have experienced discrimination, you can get help from the EASS discrimination helpline.

Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)

You can find useful information about discrimination on the EHRC website.


Acas works with both employers and employees to solve workplace problems.

You can phone the Acas helpline on: 0300 123 1100 and speak to an adviser about your employment problems. The helpline is open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

You can find useful information about how to sort out work-place problems on the Acas website at

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