Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Protected characteristics
  • Definition of sexual orientation

Protected characteristics

The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination which relates to certain listed characteristics which people may possess. Some protections relate specifically to only one of those characteristics. Others provide the same protection in relation to all the characteristics, which are collectively referred to as 'the protected characteristics'.

Each protected characteristic is listed and (with the exception of pregnancy and maternity) defined in the Act:

  1. age—see Age for further information

  2. disability—see Disability for further information

  3. gender reassignment—see Gender reassignment for further information

  4. marriage and civil partnership—see Marriage and civil partnership for further information

  5. pregnancy and maternity

  6. race—see Race for further information

  7. religion or belief—see Religion or belief for further information

  8. sex—see Sex for further information

  9. sexual orientation—see the remainder of this practice note, below, for further information

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