Discrimination can manifest itself in direct and indirect discrimination as well as harassment, and victimisation.
Focus on Discrimination
The main areas of discrimination are covered by the following ‘protected characteristics’:
|Age||Religion & Belief|
|Marriage & Civil Partnership||Gender Reassignment|
|Pregnancy & Maternity||Sexual Orientation|
Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to discriminate against, harass or victimise someone because they have or are perceived to have a “protected characteristic” or are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic.
Direct discrimination ties directly into where someone is treated less favourably than another because of a protected characteristic. Direct discrimination by association means treating someone less favourably than another person because they are associated with a person who has a protected characteristic.
An example of Indirect discrimination would be where a rule or policy is introduced that results in one person with a protected characteristic being more adversely affected than someone without one. This is unlawful when it cannot be objectively justified.
Harassment is unwanted behaviour related to a protected characteristic which has the purpose (or effect) of violating someone’s dignity or creating a hostile, degrading or offensive environment.
Victimisation is treating someone unfavourably because they have taken some form of action under the Equality Act.
Sex Discrimination is where an employer discriminates against an employee due to their sex. The protection under the law applies to recruitment, promotion and dismissal. The Equality Act 2010 protects employees; agency workers; contractors, freelancers and the self-employed; partners; directors; apprenticeships and people on work experience.