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 legally protected from discrimination by the Equality Act 2010.

You’re also protected from discrimination if:

  • you’re associated with someone who has a protected characteristic, eg a family member or friend
  • you’ve 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

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