We all deserve respect and fair treatment at work. When everyone can make the most of their hard work and talents, we’re all better off. But too many working people still face prejudice and discrimination.
By law, you mustn’t be discriminated against based on your age, sex, disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, or gender reassignment. These are called protected characteristics.
So, if your employer (or a co-worker) is treating you worse or harassing you because of any of these characteristics, they’re breaking the law.
What’s more, your workplace shouldn’t be run in a way that stops people with protected characteristics from doing as well as anyone else. That’s called indirect discrimination, and it’s illegal too.
It doesn’t matter what size the company is or what kind of contract you’re on – bosses can’t duck equality law.
If you feel you’re being discriminated against, there are lots of ways you can take action to enforce your rights.
But employers are most likely to pay attention when workers act together, especially through a trade union. It’s the best way to bring about new policies and practices that make the workplace fairer for everyone.
This section offers information on your rights and on what you can do if you think you’re being discriminated against.
But it shouldn’t be taken as legal or financial advice. Discrimination law is complex and every case is different. Before taking any action, you should seek individual advice from your union or a qualified adviser.