Protected Characteristics

This page is a work in progress and will be continually updated with relevant information for each of the following protected characteristics;

Age

 

AGE

Who is protected?

Under the Equality Act 2010, you must not be discriminated against because:

  • You are (or aren’t) of a certain age or age group.
  • Of discrimination by perception - Someone thinks you are (or are not) of a specific age or age group.
  • Of discrimination by association – you are connected to someone of a specific age or group.

What is age discrimination? 

Age discrimination is if you are treated differently because of your age. This could be 1 of 4 types of discrimination:

  1. Direct discrimination: Someone treats you differently to another person because of your age, with the exception of objective justification.
  2. Indirect discrimination: An organisation has a particular policy or way of working that applies to everyone but puts a certain age group at a disadvantage.
  3. Harassment: someone makes you feel humiliated, offended or degraded.
  4. Victimisation: you are treated badly due to a complaint of age discrimination you have made (or have supported someone in making).

For more information, visit https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/age-discrimination

 

Disability

DISABILITY

What is disability?

The Equality Act states that a disability is a physical or mental condition which has a long-term impact on your ability to do day to day activities. HIV, cancer or multiple sclerosis patients are also protected under the act, even if you conditions allows you to do day to day activities. Past health conditions are also covered.

Who is protected?

Under the Equality Act 2010, you must not be discriminated against because:

  • You have a disability
  • Discrimination by protection – when someone thinks you have a disability.
  • Discrimination by association – when you are connected to someone with a disability.

What is disability discrimination?

Disability discrimination is if you are treated badly or disadvantaged for reasons connected with your disability.  

Here are the 6 main types of disability discrimination:

1.       Direct Discrimination: Someone treats you worse than another person because of your disability.

2.       Indirect Discrimination: an organisation has a policy or way of working that impacts negatively on disabled people, to compare with those who are not.

Indirect discrimination can be lawful if the organisation can show a good reason for the policy. This is known as objective justification.

3.       Failure to make reasonable adjustments: Employers and organisations have a responsibility for providing jobs, education and services that disabled people can access as easily as non-disabled people. Discrimination is experienced if the organisation or employer doesn’t make reasonable adjustments.

4.       Discrimination arising from disability: It is unlawful to treat a disabled person badly because of something connected to their disability, por ejemple the need of a guide dog, or time off for medical appointments.

Discrimination arising from disability can be lawful if the organisation can show a good reason for the policy. This is known as objective justification.

5.       Harassment: Someone treats you in a way that makes you feel humiliated, offended or degraded. It can never be justified.

6.       Victimisation: you are treated badly due to a complaint of disability discrimination you have made (or have supported someone in making).

It is also unlawful for employers to ask about applicants’ health or disability until they have been offered the job, except for specific circumstances.

To treat a disabled person more favourably than non-disabled person is always lawful, as well as treating people with a particular disability more favourably than other disabled people may be lawful in some circumstances.

Read more about disability discrimination on the following website: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/disability-discrimination

Gender Identity

GENDER IDENTITY:

What is gender identity?

Under the Equality Act 2010 you must not be discriminated against because you are transsexual and transgender (your gender identity is different from the gender assigned to your birth). All transsexual and transgender people share the common characteristic of gender identity.

What is gender identity discrimination?

When you are treated differently because you are transsexual. This could be a one-off action or as a result of a policy/rule implemented by an organisation or employer.

Visit https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/gender-reassignment-discrimination for more information and details about gender identity.

Marriage/Civil Partnership


MARRIAGE AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIP

Who is protected?

If you are married (this could be between a man and a woman or between people of the same sex) or in a civil partnership (between partners of the same sex), you are protected under the Equality Act 2010.

What is marriage and civil partnership discrimination?

When you are treated differently because you are married or in a civil relationship. Here are three types of marriage and civil partnership discrimination:

1.       Direct discrimination: Someone treats you differently to another person because you are married or in a civil partnership, with the exception of objective justification.

2.       Indirect discrimination: An organisation has a particular policy or way of working that puts people who are married or in a civil partnership at a disadvantage.

3.       Harassment: someone makes you feel humiliated, offended or degraded. It can never be justified.

4.       Victimisation: you are treated badly due to a complaint of marriage or civil partnership discrimination you have made (or have supported someone in making).

Pregnancy/Maternity/Paternity

 PREGNANCY, MATERNITY AND PATERNITY

Who is protected?

During the course of a woman’s pregnancy until the end of a mother or father’s maternity/paternity leave, they are protected under the Equality Act 2010.

What is pregnancy, maternity and paternity discrimination?

When you are treated differently because you are pregnant, because of an illness related to your pregnancy, you are taking payed maternity/paternity leave or your employer doesn’t want you to return because you are breastfeeding. Here are the two main types ofpregnancy, maternity and paternity discrimination:

  1. 1.       Unfavourable treatment: If you are treated at a disadvantage because of you pregnancy or maternity. This could also be if an employer or organisation’s treatment impacts negatively on an employee because of pregnancy, maternity or paternity, even if the treatment is the same as other employees.  
  2. 2.       Victimisation: you are treated badly due to a complaint of pregnancy, maternity and paternity discrimination you have made (or have supported someone in making).

Visit http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5271 for more details and information.

Race

 RACE

Who is protected?

Under the Equality Act 2010, you should not be discriminated against because of your colour, ethnicity or nationality/citizenship. Race also covers ethnic or racial groups.

What is race discrimination?

When you are treated differently due to your race in a one off action or because of a rule or policy based on race. Here are the main four types of race discrimination:

1.       Direct discrimination: Someone treats you worse than another person because of your race.

2.       Indirect discrimination: An organisation has a particular policy or way of working that puts your racial group at a disadvantage, with exception of objective discrimination.

3.       Harassment: Someone makes you feel humiliated, offended or degraded because of your race. It can never be justified.

4.       Victimisation: you are treated badly due to a complaint of race discrimination you have made (or have supported someone in making).

A difference of treatment can be lawful in certain situations that relate to:

  • Occupational requirement:  a particular race is essential to the job
  • An organisation taking positive action to encourage or develop people in a racial group that is under-represented or disadvantaged.

Visit https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/race-discrimination for more details and information.

Religion/Belief

 RELIGION OR BELIEF

Who is protected?

Under the Equality act 2010, you should not be discriminated against because of the following reasons:

  • You are, or are not, of a particular religion.
  • You hold, or do not hold a particular philosophical belief.
  • Discrimination by protection – when someone thinks you are of a particular religion or hold a particular belief.
  • Discrimination by association – when you are connected to someone who has a religion or belief.

According to the Act, a philosophical belief must be a genuinely held and more than an opinion as well as being cogent, serious and apply to an important aspect in human life or behaviour, such as man-made climate change. Beliefs that are not respectful and undemocratic that affects others’ rights, such as racism will not be protected.

What is religion or belief discrimination?

When you are treated differently because of your religion or belief in a one off action or because of a rule or policy based on your religion or belief. Here are the main four types of religion or belief discrimination:

1.       Direct discrimination: Someone treats you worse than another person because of your religion or belief.

2.       Indirect discrimination: An organisation has a particular policy or way of working that puts you at a disadvantage because of your religion or belief, with exception of objective discrimination.

3.       Harassment: Someone makes you feel humiliated, offended or degraded because of your race. It can never be justified.

4.       Victimisation: you are treated badly due to a complaint of religion or belief discrimination you have made (or have supported someone in making).

Work place dress code: Under the European Convention on Human Rights, you have the right to wear clothing or symbols that show your religion or belief at your workplace. However, an employer can prevent you wearing clothes or symbols if it necessary for the job.

For more information and details, visit https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/religion-or-belief-discrimination

Sex

 

SEX

Who is protected?

Under the Equality Act 2010, you should not be discriminated if you are a male or a female for the following reasons:

  • You are, or are not, a particular sex.
  • Discrimination by protection – when someone thinks you are of the opposite sex.
  • Discrimination by association – when you are connected to someone of a particular sex.

What is sex discrimination?

When you are treated differently because of your sex in a one off action or because of a rule or policy based on sex. Here are the four main types of sex discrimination:

1.       Direct discrimination: Someone treats you worse than another person of the opposite sex.

2.       Indirect discrimination: An organisation has a particular policy or way of working that applies to both sexes but puts you at a disadvantage because of your sex, with the exception of objective discrimination.

3.       Harassment: There are three types of harassment relating to sex:

3.1.    Someone makes you feel humiliated, offended or degraded because of your sex. It can never be justified.

3.2.    Sexual Harassment: someone makes you feel humiliated, offended or degraded because they treat you in a sexual way.

3.3.    Someone treats you treats you unfairly because you refused to put up with sexual harassment.

4.       Victimisation: you are treated badly due to a complaint of sex related discrimination you have made (or have supported someone in making).

In these exceptions, it is lawful for employers or organisations to discriminate because of your sex:

  • Occupational requirement: Being a particular sex is essential for a job.
  • Taking positive action to encourage and develop people of a sex that is under represented or at a disadvantage.

Other fields where exceptions are lawful are: the armed forces, competitive sports organisers and religious organisation. 

Visit https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/sex-discrimination for more details and information.

Sexual Orientation

 

LGBT Profiles 

 
 

SEX ORIANTATION

Who is protected?

Under the Equality act 2010, you should not be discriminated against because of the following reasons:

  • You are heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual.
  • Discrimination by protection – when someone thinks you have a particular sexual orientation.
  • Discrimination by association – when you are connected to someone who has particular sexual orientation.
  • This includes how you choose to express your sexual orientation.

What is sexual orientation discrimination?

When you are treated differently because of your sexual orientation in a one off action or because of a rule or policy based on your sexual orientation. Here are the main four types of religion or belief discrimination:

1.       Direct discrimination: Someone treats you worse than another person because of your sexual orientation.

2.       Indirect discrimination: An organisation has a particular policy or way of working that applies to everyone but puts people of a specific sexual orientation at a disadvantage, with exception of objective justification.

3.       Harassment: Someone makes you feel humiliated, offended or degraded because of your sexual orientation. It can never be justified.

4.       Victimisation: you are treated badly due to a complaint of sexual orientation discrimination you have made (or have supported someone in making).