DISCRIMINATION: YOUR RIGHTS, A GUIDE FROM GOV.UK

PART 1: TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION

It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of
• Age
• Being or becoming a transsexual person
• Being married or in a civil partnership
• Being pregnant or having a child
• Disability
• Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
• Religion, belief or lack of religion/belief
• Sex
• Sexual orientation
THESE ARE CALLED ‘PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS’

You’re protected from discrimination in these situations
• At work
• In education
• As a consumer
• When using public services
• When buying or renting property
• As a member or guest of a private club or association
You are also protected from discrimination if
• You are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic, e.g. a family member or friend
• You have complained about discrimination or supported someone else’s claim

ACTION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION

You can do something voluntarily to help people with a protected characteristic. This is called ‘positive action’
Taking positive action is legal if people with a protected characteristic
• Are at a disadvantage
• Have particular needs
• Are under-represented in an activity or type of work

PART 2: HOW YOU CAN BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST

Discrimination can come in one of the following forms
• Direct discrimination – treating someone with a protected characteristic less favourably than others
• Indirect discrimination – putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage
• Harassment – unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them
• Victimisation – treating someone unfairly because they’ve complained about discrimination or harassment
It can be lawful to have specific rules or arrangements in place, as long as they can be justified.

PART 3: DISCRIMINATION AT WORK

The law protects you against discrimination at work, including:
• Dismissal
• Employment terms and conditions
• Pay and benefits
• Promotion and transfer opportunities
• Training
• Recruitment
• Redundancy
Some forms of discrimination are only allowed if they’re needed for the way the organisation works, e.g.
• A Roman Catholic school restricting applications for admission of pupils to Catholics only
• Employing only women in a health centre for Muslim women