It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of a protected characteristic such as :

  • age
  • gender reassignment
  • being married or in a civil partnership
  • being pregnantor on maternity leave
  • disability
  • race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

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 have complained about discrimination or harassment

The law protects you against discrimination at work that results in

  • dismissal
  • unfair employment terms and conditions
  • lower pay and benefits
  • withheld promotion and transfer opportunities
  • failure to train
  • forced redundancy


If you are disabled you have the same rights as other workers. Employers should make reasonable adjustments’ to help disabled employees and job applicants with:

  • application formsfor example, providing forms in Braille or audio formats
  • aptitude testsfor example giving extra time to complete the tests
  • interview arrangements, such as providing wheelchair access, communicator support
  • making sure the workplace has the right facilities and equipment for disabled workers
  • promotion, transfer and training opportunities
  • terms of employment, including pay
  • work-related benefits like access to recreation or refreshment facilities


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