Discrimination at Work
There is a great deal of discrimination law at work which spells out your right not to suffer discrimination in employment. The main piece of legislation is the Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination at work.
The Equality Act 2010 protects you because of your protected characteristics. Protected characteristics are sex (whether you are a man or a woman), marital status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and age.
Types of Discrimination
There are six types of discrimination at work:
- Direct discrimination which is less favourable treatment because of your protected characteristic.
- Indirect Discrimination which is when a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) particularly disadvantages a group of people with a protected characteristic including you.
- Harassment for a reason related to your protected characteristic
- Victimisation because you complained about discrimination or supported someone else in raising a complaint about discrimination
- Where your employer fails to make reasonable adjustments for your disability
- Discrimination arising from disability, which is when you are treated unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of your disability rather than the disability itself.[see Proving Discrimination, The Comparator in Direct Discrimination, Direct Discrimination, Indirect Discrimination, Victimisation, Harassment]
Who does the Law protect?
- Job applicants and employees
- Contract workers, including agency workers
- Police officers and applicants to join the police
- Partners and those seeking partnership in a firm
The Equality Act 2010
Equality Act Statutory Instruments
Equality Act 2010 (Commencement No.4, Savings, Consequential, Transitional, Transitory and Incidental Provisions and Revocation) Order 2010 (PDF format, 148K) – this order brought the main provisions of the Equality Act 2010 into force.
The Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations (SI 2010/2128) – These regulations supplement the definition of disability in the Equality Act 2010.
The Equality Act 2010 (Sex Equality Rule) (Exceptions) Regulations (SI 2010/2132) – The Regulations make exceptions to the sex-equality rule in occupational pension schemes.
The Equality Act (Age Exceptions for Pension Schemes) Order and (Amendment) Order (SI 2010/2133 and 2285) – The Order makes exceptions to the prohibition on age discrimination in occupational pension schemes.
The Equality Act 2010 (Consequential Amendments, Saving and Supplementary Provisions) Order (SI 2010/2279) – The Order makes minor amendments to the Equality Act 2010 and other primary legislation.
The Equality Act 2010 (Obtaining Information) Order (SI 2010/2194) – The Order prescribes forms for an employee to obtain information from an employer and forms for responding to an employee under repealed s138 of the Equality Act 2010.
The Equality Act 2010 (Qualifying Compromise Contract Specified Person) Order (SI 2010/2192) – This Order extends the category of person capable of acting as an independent adviser, where advice is necessary to establish a settlement agreement, to a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives who is practising in a solicitor’s practice.
The Equality Act 2010 (Offshore Work) Order 2010 (SI 2010/1835) – The Order confirms that part 5 of the Equality Act 2010 applies to offshore work.
The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/2260) – the specific duties that support the Public Sector Equality Duty
The Equality Act 2010 (Statutory Duties) (Wales) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/1064) – Provide for separate specific duties for relevant Welsh public authorities
Other Statutes and Statutory Instruments
Employment Rights Act 1996 (sections relating to maternity and dependant carer leave)
Last Updated: [06/01/2022]