Types of discrimination (protected characteristics)

It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of:
  • age 
  • gender reassignment 
  • being married or in a civil partnership 
  • being pregnant or on maternity leave 
  • disability 
  • religion or belief 
  • sex 
  • sexual orientation 
These are called protected characteristics.

You are protected from discrimination:

  • at work 
  • in education 
  • as a consumer 
  • when using public services 
  • when buying or renting property 
  • as a member or guest of a private club or association 
You are legally protected from discrimination by the Equality Act 2010.

You are also protected from discrimination if:

  • you are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic, for example a family member or friend 
  • you have complained about discrimination or supported someone else’s claim 

Action against discrimination

You can do something voluntarily to help people with a protected characteristic. This is called positive action.
Taking positive action is legal if people with a protected characteristic:
  • are at a disadvantage 
  • have particular needs 
  • are under-represented in an activity or type of work