Discrimination and the law

Overview

Discrimination is when someone is treated unfairly for any of these reasons:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage or civil partnership
  • pregnancy or maternity
  • race (including colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin)
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

These are called 'protected characteristics' under the law (the Equality Act 2010). Discrimination based on any of these protected characteristics is usually against the law.

Types of unfair treatment

According to the law, there are different types of unfair treatment. 

Discrimination is one type of unfair treatment and can, for example, be direct or indirect. Other types of unfair treatment include bullying.

Find out more about harassment, bullying and victimisation.

Equal pay

The employer must make sure they follow the law on equal pay.

Discrimination and the law