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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 55134
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I work in a business centre which is 90 per cent female. My

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I work in a business centre which is 90 per cent female. My colleagues keep making derogatory remarks about me - I am 53 and male. Lots of "joke" comments about useless men but most about my age. My boss, 27 and female, does not challenge this and is now joining in.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

What specific queries do you have about this, please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well she made another comment on Friday about my age and I (as a joke and to try and make light of the situation - a situation that is becoming quite hurtful) said " oooh bitch" in a sort of camp voice.
She has now said that she is considering putting something on my personnel file because I called her a bitch. I think this is unfair but obviously it can look really bad if it is portrayed without context. So, I could end up with a negative comment on my file and still be on the receiving end of ageist and sexist comments

Thanks. What you are likely to be experiencing is unlawful discrimination on the grounds of age and/or gender. Under the Equality Act 2010 you should not be treated detrimentally because of a protected characteristics, such as your age or gender. Therefore, if you are on the receiving end of derogatory remarks aimed at these protected characteristics, it would amount to unlawful discrimination.

Initially, this should be dealt with through the employer’s own grievance procedure, However, if this is not resolved that way and the issues continue, you may have to look at one of two options:

- Continue working there but make a claim for discrimination on one or both of the above mentioned grounds

- Resign and claim constructive dismissal and discrimination

The constructive dismissal option should only be used if you believe that you cannot continue working there as a result of all that has happened and feel you have basically been pushed out and have to leave.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you need to take if you had to make a claim. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Fabulous - I feel better about having that difficult conversation and showing that I won't be an easy target.

You are welcome. In terms of taking this further if you had to, before a person can make a claim in the employment tribunal, they would be required to participate in mandatory early conciliation through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the claimant and respondent to agree on an out of court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in tribunal. The respondent does not have to engage in these discussions, or if they do and the talks are unsuccessful, the claimant will be issued with a certificate allowing them to make a claim.

However, if a settlement is reached, the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be agreed as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.

To initiate the conciliation procedure ACAS can be contacted online by filling in the following form (, or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####