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15 Equal Opportunities

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1. Introduction

2. When discrimination can happen

3. Types of discrimination

The law on equality talks about two types of discrimination.

  • Direct discrimination, which is when you are treated less favourably simply because, for example, you are black, or you are a woman.
  • Indirect discrimination, which can happen where there are rules or conditions which apply to everyone but affect one group of people more than others, without a good reason. For example, a company rule that says that employees must do night shifts could exclude women who have children to care for.

In certain cases discrimination is allowed. For example, the law allows a women's refuge to insist that its counsellors are women.

If you want to complain about being discriminated against (or if you are helping a colleague who is complaining), you may fear that your employer may treat you less favourably for this reason. If they do, this is called victimisation, and it is unlawful (illegal) in the same way discrimination is.

4. Sex discrimination

5. Transgender people

6. Discrimination because you are gay or lesbian

7. Discrimination because of your religion or beliefs

8. What you can do about discrimination

9. Dealing with discrimination at work

10. Going to an employment tribunal

11. Dealing with other types of discrimination

12. The Human Rights Act

13. Discrimination because of your age

14. Further help

15. About this leaflet

Equal Opportunities - Albanian

Equal Opportunities - Arabic

Equal Opportunities - Bengali

Equal Opportunities - Chinese

Equal Opportunities - Farsi

Equal Opportunities - French

Equal Opportunities - Gujarati

Equal Opportunities - Portuguese

Equal Opportunities - Somali

Equal Opportunities - Spanish

Equal Opportunities - Urdu

Equal Opportunities - Turkish

This leaflet was published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Sara Leslie

Leaflet Version:  December 2019


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