Source – Citizens Advice Bureau
Before entering the job market it is useful to know your rights both as an applicant and then as an employee when you secure a role.
The Equality Act 2010 is an important piece of legislation that legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations.
When are you protected from discrimination?
Discrimination means treating you unfairly because of who you are. The Equality Act 2010 protects you from discrimination by:
- businesses and organisations which provide goods or services like banks, shops and utility companies
- health and care providers like hospitals and care homes
- someone you rent or buy a property from like housing associations and estate agents
- schools, colleges and other education providers
- transport services like buses, trains and taxis
- public bodies like government departments and local authorities.
There are nine protected characteristics in the Equality Act. Discrimination which happens because of one or more of these characteristics is unlawful under the Act. We all have some of these characteristics – for example, sex or age – so the Act protects everyone from discrimination.
If you’re treated unfairly because someone thinks you belong to a group of people with protected characteristics, this is also unlawful discrimination.
What are the protected characteristics?
The characteristics that are protected by the Equality Act 2010 are:
- gender reassignment
- marriage or civil partnership (in employment only)
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation.
Accurate up to April 25 2016, Euan McCall