What is discrimination?

Discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably (known as ‘direct discrimination’) because of their:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage or civil partnership status
  • Pregnancy or maternity status
  • Race
  • Religion/belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

These are the ‘protected characteristics’ under the Equality Act 2010

Discrimination can also occur if a policy, practice or process puts someone with one, or more, of these protected characteristics at an unfair disadvantage (known as ‘indirect discrimination’).

Discrimination can only occur if it takes place as a result of one of these nine specific characteristics defined by the Equality Act.

What can I do if I have experienced discrimination?

If you have experienced discrimination please see what to do if you experience discrimination which includes information about how you can access support, and about informal and formal action you can take.