Editor's message: While we use the word "victimisation" as part of everyday speech, it has a particular meaning under the Equality Act 2010. Victimisation occurs where an employee is treated badly because they have complained about discrimination or assisted someone in their discrimination complaint, or it is thought that they have done or may do so.
It does not matter if the discrimination claim was successful or unsuccessful. In a complaint of victimisation the actual or alleged discrimination is not the issue as the focus is on the employer's conduct towards the employee after they took some sort of action in connection with a possible discrimination claim.
An employee is protected from victimisation even if the allegation turns out to be wrong, provided that the protected act was not made in bad faith.
Fiona Cuming, employment law editor
HR and legal information and guidance relating to victimisation.