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Check when you can make a claim for detriment

This advice applies to England

A detriment is when you’re treated unfairly by your employer because you’ve done something protected by law. For example, it would be a detriment if your employer refused you access to training or to promote you because you had questioned if you were being paid minimum wage. 

If you’ve suffered a detriment, you might be able to make a claim to a tribunal. You can check if you’re an employee or a worker if you’re not sure. 

You should also check if you’ve been discriminated against

You should talk to an adviser as soon as you can. This is because you need to make a claim to an employment tribunal within 3 months minus 1 day of the thing you’re claiming about.

You should have tried to resolve the issue with your employer before you apply to a tribunal.

Check what is a detriment

Detriment is treatment by your employer that’s demeaning or detrimental. It can include your employer:

  • denying you training opportunities

  • giving you harder or more mundane work

  • demeaning or humiliating comments 

  • highlighting insignificant issues about conduct 

  • not taking grievances and disciplinary issues seriously or dealing with them properly

  • withholding a reference

Your employer isn’t allowed to subject you to a detriment because you’ve done something protected by law. 

Check which employment rights are covered

To make a claim for detriment, you need to show that that you did something to assert a protected employment right. Only certain employment rights are protected in this way. The main ones are:

If you’re an employee, you’re also protected from detriment if you exercise any of the following rights:

  • you’re a young employee and ask for time off for study or training

  • you ask for family leave

  • you ask for flexible working

Check what losses you must have suffered to claim a detriment

You don’t have to show you’ve lost out financially as a result of the detriment. You can make a claim for compensation for:

  • any financial losses you’ve suffered as a result of the detriment

  • injury to your feelings which you’ve suffered because of the detriment - for example, if you were being bullied by your manager

Taking action about detriment

You can find out more about what you can do if you’ve suffered a detriment

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