On the same topic as our post earlier today – it isn’t just physical practical jokes that can land an employer in hot water – nicknames can be equally troublesome if they are upsetting to an individual or if they imply a workplace culture of discrimination against a certain group of people with a shared characteristic.

Whilst some nicknames may seem harmless to some people, the key consideration for an employer who wishes to maintain a happy workforce has to be how it makes the recipient of the name feel. And for an employer keen to not end up in tribunal, another key point is to consider if the “nickname” suggests an underlying negative attitude towards a specific group of people.

Personnel Today have gathered together a number of cases that highlight the risks to a business of allowing nicknames that relate to the 9 protected characteristics covered by The Equality Act.


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