Types of discrimination
Types of discrimination

The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Types of discrimination
  • Prohibited conduct
  • Direct discrimination
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation
  • Discrimination arising from disability
  • Duty to make reasonable adjustments
  • Pregnancy and maternity discrimination
  • Gender reassignment: absence from work

The Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010) provides protection against discrimination relating to certain listed characteristics, collectively called the protected characteristics. Some protections relate specifically to only one of those characteristics; others relate to all the characteristics.

This Practice Note covers the law that applies on or after 1 October 2010. It explains the different types of discrimination that are prohibited under the EqA 2010. It is intended to be provide high-level information to help you draft your equality and diversity policy. It is not intended as a guide to dealing with equality and diversity claims, which is an employment law matter.

Prohibited conduct

The EqA 2010 provides protection against discrimination and other prohibited conduct relating to protected characteristics which people may possess. The types of prohibited conduct are:

  1. direct discrimination

  2. indirect discrimination

  3. discrimination arising from disability

  4. failure to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled person

  5. gender reassignment: absence from work discrimination

  6. pregnancy and maternity discrimination

  7. harassment where it relates to one or more of the following protected characteristics: age, disability, race, gender reassignment, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation

  8. victimisation for carrying out a protected act under the EqA 2010

To succeed in a claim under the EqA 2010, an applicant must establish that the prohibited conduct occurred as a result of a relevant protected characteristic.