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If you possess a protected characteristic and are a victim of discrimination, don’t worry. The Equality Act 2010 protects you.
For more information about the Equality Act 2010, please visit our discrimination page. Furthermore, if you want to contact a solicitor today, please call us directly on 020 3007 5500.
What is the Equality Act 2010?
The main goal of the Equality Act 2010 is to ensure equal opportunity for all. The Equality Act 2010 ensures this by providing protecting anyone who possesses a protected characteristic against discrimination.
Before 2010 there were many different pieces of legislation, which in 2010 were all merged to create the Equality Act. Some of the former pieces of legislation include the:
- Equal Pay Act 1970
- Sex Discrimination Act 1975
- Race Relations Act 1976
- Disability Discrimination Act 1995
- Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
- Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
- Equality Act 2006, Part 2
- Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
- Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007
Essentially, the Equality Act is all-encompassing and includes aspects from all areas of equality in the workplace.
What are the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics?
Under the Equality Act 2010, it’s unlawful to discriminate against someone because of one of the following protected characteristics:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
For more information on the 9 protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, visit our blog.
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Who are you protected against?
If you possess a protected characteristic, the Equality Act 2010 protects you against discrimination from:
- Care and health providers
- Educational providers
- Transport services
- Public bodies
- Businesses and organisations
- Estate/letting agents and housing associations
How can you be discriminated against under the Equality Act 2010?
There are several forms of discrimination you can face. Some of the most common forms of discrimination are as follows:
This type of discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably due to a protected characteristic. There are three separate forms of direct discrimination, which include:
- Ordinary direct discrimination. An example of ordinary direct discrimination is an employer not giving a 30-year-old female employee a promotion because they feel that she will likely get pregnant and take maternity leave.
- Direct discrimination by association. This form of discrimination is when people associate a person with someone else who possesses a protected characteristic. For example, if a school refuse to take a student because their parents are members of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Direct discrimination by perception. This type of direct discrimination is when someone is thought to possess a protected characteristic. For example, an employer not offering someone a job because they assume the applicant is religious.
Indirect discrimination is when an organisation applies a general policy or procedure that will put individuals with a particular protected characteristic at a disadvantage.
Harassment is when a person is conveying unwanted behaviour to someone else with a protected characteristic to violate another person’s dignity and create a degrading environment for that person. For example, someone spreading untrue rumours about a colleague in the workplace.
Victimisation occurs when someone becomes a victim to harmful behaviour because they have or may do something in good faith, such as reporting discrimination or supporting a complaint of discrimination. A person does not need to have a protected characteristic to be protected by the Equality Act 2010.
Positive discrimination someone is when you treat someone favourably because they possess a protected characteristic. An example of positive discrimination is giving someone a promotion because they possess a protected characteristic rather than being the best person for the job.
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Examples of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.
Sometimes discrimination may not be immediately noticeable. Some examples of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 include:
Sam is a young applicant interviewing for a customer service role. He is competing against an applicant with the same qualifications and work experience but is ten years younger. The company decided to give the position to the older applicant because they feel Sam isn’t mature due to his age.
Matthew is of African origin and is looking to rent a two-bedroom flat. When he arrives at the letting agent’s office, he’s told there are no properties available for him to view. However, Matthew has a friend who is not of African origin who’s also looking for a two-bedroom flat in the area. Matthew’s friend went to the same letting agent earlier that day and was showed a list of available properties.
Wayne works in a small office and is planning on getting married in the next couple of months. After sharing the news with the office, Wayne was uninvited to all upcoming staff poker nights. His employer told him the reason for this was because the events are for single employees only.
How can I report discrimination?
If you feel like you have been a victim of discrimination, you can assert your rights under the Equality Act 2010. When reporting discrimination, you have three options which are:
- Complain directly to the person or organisation.
- Resolve the issue by using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods.
- Instruct a solicitor to make a discrimination claim in either the civil court or the employment tribunal (if the unlawful act occurred in the workplace).
How can Britton and Time Solicitors help?
If you’ve been a victim of discrimination due to a protected characteristic you possess, you deserve justice. By instructing a discrimination solicitor, you can feel confident that you have the best possible chance of success.
No discrimination case is the same as the type, severity and location of the discrimination can alter the nature of the case. Therefore, in any discrimination case, our solicitors will always require an initial consultation. These initial consultations promise:
- Unlimited time to discuss your case in detail and ask any questions you may have.
- An overview of your legal standpoint and your best options.
- An upfront time and fee estimate once our solicitor better understands the nature of your case.
To arrange your initial consultation, get in touch with one of our solicitors on 020 3007 5500.