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Discrimination examples

Age 

It will be unlawful to discriminate against someone because they are (or are not) a specific age or in a certain age group in one of the types of discrimination.

Age groups may be quite broad (for example people in their mid-50's). Using a term such as 'youthful' or 'elderly' can also indicate an age group. 

There are certain exceptions in the Act when it will be lawful to discriminate on the grounds of age. 

Disability

It will be unlawful to discriminate against someone because of a disability on one of the types of discrimination. The definition of disability is much broader under the Act than in the Disability Discrimination Act 2006. Detailed guidance will be issued in relation to this.

It is not unlawful discrimination to treat a disabled person more favourably than a non-disabled person through the concept of 'reasonable adjustments'. This aims to create equality of opportunity between a disabled and non-disabled person.

Gender Reassignment

It will be unlawful to discriminate against someone because they are transsexual, when their gender identity is different from the gender assigned when they were born.

Marriage/Civil Partnership

It will be unlawful to discriminate against in the workplace because you are married or in a civil partnership in one of the types of discrimination. 

There are some specified exceptions when it will be lawful to discriminate because of marriage or a civil partnership.

Race

It will be unlawful to discriminate against someone because of their race. Race means colour or nationality (including citizenship). It also means ethnic or national origins, which may not be the same as a person's nationality. 

Race also covers ethnic and racial groups. This means a group of people who all share the same protected characteristic or ethnicity or race.

It may be lawful to treat a person differently in employment situations if belonging to a particular race is essential for the job, or an organisation is taking positive action to encourage or develop people in a racial group that is under-represented or disadvantaged in a role or activity in their workplace. 

Religion or Belief

It will be unlawful to treat someone differently because of their religion or belief, or lack of religion or belief. A religion or belief can mean any religion, so long as it has a clear structure or belief system for example Christianity, Judaism, Islam or Buddhism, Rastafarianism or Paganism.

Sex

It will be unlawful under the Act to treat someone differently because of their sex. 

It may be lawful to treat someone differently if being a particular sex is essential for a job, or an organisation is taking positive action to encourage or develop people of a sex that is under-represented or disadvantaged in a role or activity. There are also other lawful exceptions. 

Sexual Orientation

It will be unlawful to discriminate against someone because they are heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual. Sexual orientation also includes how a person chooses to express their sexual orientation (such as through appearance or the places visited). The Act sets out exceptions when it may be lawful to discriminate.

Pregnancy and Maternity

A woman will be discriminated against if she is treated unfavourably because of her pregnancy or in the 26 weeks from the date she gives birth.

For employment purposes only, a woman is protected from being treated unfavourably because of her pregnancy or whilst on maternity leave. The period of time that a woman is protected from discrimination is called the protected period. The length of the protected period begins for all women when the pregnancy begins. When the protected period ends is decided on the basis of a woman's eligibility (or not) for ordinary and additional maternity leave. 

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