Employers can now access a new online service aiming to provide advice and guidance concerning discrimination legislation.

The website, discriminationonline.com, claims to be the first site to provide information to employers specifically in relation to discrimination in the workplace. Jonathan I’Anson, an associate at law firm, Brabners Chaffe Street, which was responsible for the creation of the service, commented: “As the laws relating to discrimination grow ever more complex, it is becoming essential for employers to get genuinely specialist advice.

“Employers are often unaware that they may well be liable for the discriminatory act of an employee, carried out in the course of the employment, whether or not those acts were done with the employer’s knowledge or approval.” The cost to UK businesses of discriminating against staff has soared over recent years – and is predicted to rise yet further in 2007, according to the law firm. Latest figures suggest discrimination on the grounds of race, gender or sexual orientation cost the economy £320 million in 2006, a rise of 52%. Furthermore, around 23,000 discrimination-related legal claims were brought in the UK last year. “But it’s not just the amount of compensation they must pay which makes discrimination claims one of the biggest headaches for an employer,” added I’Anson. “There’s also management time and damage to reputation to consider as well. Hopefully, this site will make it easier for companies to obtain genuinely specialist legal advice.”

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2007