Equality And Discrimination

It is unlawful to discriminate against anyone at work because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, or membership (or non-membership) of a trade union.

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.

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.


Related Topics

Bullying and Harassment

Grievance Procedure

Employment Tribunals


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