Discrimination in the work place is a crucial issue that all employers and employees must be aware of. The Equality Act 2010 lists the following areas as ‘protected characteristics’ for which you may be discriminated on:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
Types of discrimination
The Equality Act 2010 also sets out the various types of discrimination and other unlawful conduct that apply to most (and in some cases all) of the protected characteristics. These are:
Direct discrimination (section 13).
Direct discrimination occurs where “because of a protected characteristic, A treats B less favourably than A treats or would treat others” (section 13(1), EqA 2010).
This requires any Employment Tribunal to consider the reasons why the employee was treated less favourably and whether this was conscious treatment
Indirect discrimination (section 19).
Indirect discrimination is concerned with acts, decisions or policies which are not intended to treat anyone less favourably, but which, in practice do as a result of a protected characteristic.
Harassment (section 26).
The general definition of harassment is A harasses B if A engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of either violating B’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B.
Victimisation (section 27).
Victimisation is usually but not limited to have committed by an employer that is already the subject of a discrimination complaint by a current or former employee.
Instructing, causing, inducing and helping discrimination (sections 111 and 112).
If you feel like you have been discriminated against or are an employer seeking to ensure that you don’t face such a claim, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org