Protecting staff from harassment and discrimination at Paradigm Precision

Paradigm Precision section 23 agreement


Paradigm Precision Burnley Ltd entered into a legally binding agreement with us following an Employment Tribunal decision that found it had discriminated against one of its employees.


An employment tribunal ruled that Mr Allen, who worked for Paradigm Precision, was harassed and directly discriminated against because of his sexual orientation.

It also found he was victimised during the grievance process, and that he was subjected to detrimental treatment for seeking to take additional adoption leave.

These events contributed to Mr Allen’s constructive dismissal, which the Tribunal determined was unfair. 

Why we were involved:

It is a breach of the Equality Act 2010 to discriminate or harass anyone because of their sexual orientation, and also unlawful to victimise a person if they complain about such treatment. 

We are committed to ensuring that employers are held to account for discrimination, harassment and victimisation so that all workers are treated fairly.

This remains a priority for us in our Strategic Plan 2022 to 2025. Read our Strategic Plan.

What we did:

We worked closely with Paradigm Precision Burnley to enter into a legal agreement, known as a section 23 agreement under the Equality Act 2006.

The agreement required Paradigm Precision Burnley to carry out an action plan to improve its approach to equality and diversity.

What happened:

As part of the agreement, Paradigm Precision Burnley agreed to:

  • roll out updated equality and diversity training to all staff and provide enhanced equality training to the Senior Leadership and Human Resources team;
  • revise its induction materials for new staff to ensure they understand expected standards of behaviour;
  • publicise and monitor the staff hotline to ensure staff are aware they can use it to make confidential complaints;
  • appoint equality & diversity champions within key areas of its business and conduct regular reviews with them to monitor any emerging issues of concern.

We monitored Paradigm Precision Burnley throughout the term of the agreement to ensure that all the agreed actions were carried out.

Who will benefit and how?

A decade since the Equality Act 2010 made it illegal for anyone to be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, it is saddening that legal claims such as Mr Allen’s still occur. Discrimination, harassment and victimisation have a significantly negative impact on its victims, and evidence from a number of studies show that LGBT people suffer much higher levels of bullying and harassment (more broadly than just sexual harassment) at work than heterosexual people: twice as high for gay and bisexual men or four times as high for LGBT people as a whole.

The steps taken by Paradigm Precision Burnley will help to protect their employees from experiencing such treatment in future.

Over the course of the agreement, Paradigm Precision Burnley implemented the steps as outlined in the action plan which will help their staff have an improved awareness of equality issues such as harassment, expected standards of behaviour, and avenues for redress. By reinforcing its equality policies and strengthening its education across the organisation, new and existing staff will benefit from these measures to improve awareness of equality issues, especially harassment, within the workplace.

A spokesperson for Paradigm Precision Burnley said:

'We do not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind. We continue to be fully committed to, and encourage diversity and inclusion throughout our organisation. We have completed our action plan with the EHRC and we believe that we have further enhanced our processes and education across the workforce.'

Last updated: 28 Apr 2022