Equality And Discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 protects people at work from discrimination because of their protected characteristics.

Workplace Discrimination

Discrimination against anyone at work because of their protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 is unlawful.

Someone’s protected characteristics include their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

The Equality Act 2010 places obligations on employers to take reasonable steps to make sure prohibited conduct including harassment does not take place in recruitment or in the workplace.

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 is based around the concept of people having “protected characteristics” and of there being “prohibited conduct” by employers.

The protected characteristics are:

  • age,
  • disability,
  • race,
  • sex,
  • sexual orientation,
  • gender reassignment,
  • marriage and civil partnership,
  • pregnancy and maternity,
  • religion or belief.

Prohibited conduct is:

  • discrimination, and
  • failure to make adjustments for disabled people.

Although the law generally assigns the same protection to each of the protected characteristics, there are certain exceptions that can apply in different areas of employment.

The Equality Act 2010 sets out the definitions of prohibited conduct and discrimination

Someone who believes they are the victim of discrimination at work can make a claim to an employment tribunal and could be awarded compensation for any damage or loss suffered including injury to feelings.

Disability Discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 states a person has a disability if:

  • they have a physical or mental impairment, and
  • the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

A person discriminates against a disabled person if:

  • They treat the disabled person unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of their disability, and
  • They cannot show that the treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

This does not apply if the person can show they did not know, and could not reasonably have been expected to know, that the disabled person had the disability.


Bullying and Harassment

Grievance Procedure

Employment Tribunals

Employment Rights


The Equality Act 2010 (Legislation)

Equality And Human Rights Commission


Bishopsgate Law

Bishopsgate Law employment lawyers provide independent legal advice about employment settlement agreements, and represent employees and employers at employment tribunals.

Find out how Bishopsgate Law can help you:


Last Updated on December 15, 2020 by Admin