Prejudicial or unjust treatment of divergent categories of people is discriminatory. The law protects certain types of discrimination 'protected characteristics' in the United Kingdom.
DISCRIMINATION RIGHTS UK: It is illegal to discriminate against:
Note: These types of discrimination are most often referred to as personal or 'protected characteristics'.
The United Kingdom Equality Act 2010 protects people against being discriminated. Thus, you would be protected in most places and situations including:
Discrimination rights also protect those associated with someone with a protected characteristic. Typical examples would be a family member or a friend.
The same protection applies if you complain about discrimination. People are also protected from prejudice for supporting another person's claim.
Taking 'positive action' discrimination is lawful in the United Kingdom. It allows you to do make a 'voluntarily' act to help those with a protected characteristic. But, to be legal the positive action must be for people with a protected characteristic and:
There are many different types of discrimination, victimisation, and harassment. The most serious forms of discrimination include:
Note: Putting specific arrangements or rules in place is not always unlawful. But, they must be justified to be lawful in the United Kingdom.
There are several ways the law protects the people in the community against discrimination at work. Some of the most important include:
Not all forms of discrimination are unlawful. They may be lawful if needed for a specific way that an organisation works. Typical examples include:
Disabled people have the exact same rights as all other workers. Thus, all employers must make 'reasonable adjustments' to help any disabled employees. The same protection applies to job-applicants with a disability.
Employers should do their best to arrange reasonable adjustments with:
United Kingdom employment laws also protect workers against being treated unfairly:
What can you do if you are discriminated against while at work? There are several different ways of dealing with the problem.
All employers must follow the law on preventing discrimination at work. But, if you feel you have been 'unfairly' discriminated against, you can:
Note: Contact Equality Advisory Support Service for further help and advice. They are experts on discrimination rights laws and human rights issues. EASS now replaces the helpline provided by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
EASS Helpline and Online Contact Form
Telephone: 0808 800 0082
Textphone: 0808 800 0084
Monday to Friday: 9am to 7pm
Saturday: 10am to 2pm
Find out about call charges.
Employees should try to deal with all types of workplace discrimination. Often, employers can solve a workplace dispute using informal methods. In short, that means talking to their employer in the first place.
Note: You can also talk to Acas, the Citizens Advice, or a trade union representative. In some cases you can take a claim to an employment tribunal for discrimination.
Being discriminated against means you may qualify to get legal aid to help with the legal costs. The Civil Legal Advice have more information for those who are eligible.
Discrimination Rights in the United Kingdom