Employment Issues / In the News / Legal Topics

Refinery 29: These Black Women’s Stories Prove Hair Discrimination Happens Here Daily

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

A girl who was repeatedly sent home by from school for having an afro received a £8,500 payout in a hair discrimination case last week. Ruby Williams, 18, was awarded the out of court settlement after her family took legal action against The Urswick School in east London, with the backing of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), claiming she had been discriminated against on the basis of her race.

I spoke with Refinery 29 about the protections afforded to those in the workplace:

“According to solicitor Kevin Poulter, an employment partner at Freeths LLP, there is no legal framework in place to protect against racial hairstyle discrimination specifically. He told Refinery29: “There is no law in the UK specifically protecting against hair discrimination, but no employee should be made to feel inadequate and certainly not treated unfavourably because of their race, religion or haircut.

“Questions can come up around whether hairstyles are ‘professional’ or ‘tidy’ but the difficulty is that these are subjective opinions and can lead to conscious or unconscious bias.””

Read the full article on Refinery 29 here.

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