We all deserve respect and fair treatment at work. But too many women still don’t feel safe, comfortable and equal at work.

It’s against the law for an employer to treat you worse than your co-workers because of your sex, whether you are male or female. They shouldn’t indirectly discriminate either, by having requirements that are harder for you to meet because of your sex.

Workers who have changed their sex, or are in the process of doing so, are also protected.

You should never face harassment or bullying because of your sex, from your employer, from other workers or from anyone else.

It’s not good enough for those responsible to dismiss sexual harassment as “workplace banter”. That defence has been tested in employment tribunals, and it failed.

If you feel you’re experiencing discrimination or harassment, you can take action to enforce your rights.

But in many situations, the best way to solve problems is to join with co-workers –  through the union if you have one - and try to reach an agreement with your employer on how to make the workplace fairer for everyone. 

Are you a rep? You can find more practical advice on a range of workplace issues in our support for reps section

Resources

Gender pay gap reporting (pdf)
This guide covers what the gender pay gap is, what causes it and how it differs from equal pay an overview of the new gender pay gap reporting regulations, how to negotiate using the new gender pay gap reporting regulations and useful links and further information

Common
questions
How am I protected against sex discrimination?
The sex discrimination provisions of the Equality Act 2010 make it unlawful for employers to treat workers less favourably than others on account of sex, sexual orientation, transgender or marital status.
What protection do workers who have changed their sex have against sex discrimination?
Under the Equality Act 2010, individuals who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing, or have undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of changing their sex, by changing physiological or other attributes of sex, are protected against less favourable treatment. They have the same protection as non-transgender workers who suffer sex discrimination.
I’m paid less than someone of the opposite sex who does the same job. Is this lawful?
It is unlawful for your employer to discriminate against you on the grounds of your sex by paying you less than a member of the opposite sex (where both of you are doing 'like work', 'work rated as equivalent' or 'work of equal value'). This applies to all contractual benefits such as salary, overtime rates, bonuses and other payments.
Can I be sacked because I’m pregnant?
No, if you are dismissed because you are pregnant, this is automatically an unfair dismissal. It is also unlawful sex and pregnancy discrimination. It is unlawful no matter how long you have been working, or how many hours you work.