Created on: 02 Aug 2023 | Last modified: 09 Nov 2023
Employers have a duty to prevent unlawful discrimination.
The principal legislation under which cases can be taken is the Equality Act 2010. Protection is provided by the Equality Act in relation to the following protected characteristics:
Age: Where this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 32 year olds) or range of ages (e.g. 18 - 30 year olds).
Disability: A person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Gender reassignment: The process of transitioning from one gender to another.
Marriage and civil partnership: Marriage is defined as a 'union between a man and a woman'. Same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'. Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters.
Pregnancy and maternity: Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavorably because she is breastfeeding.
Race: Race refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.
Religion and belief: Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. Atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.
Sex: A man or a woman.
Sexual orientation: Whether a person's sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.