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A Brief Introduction

Discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently (as this site is dealing with employment law, we will look only at employment law issues). This is because of

  • race;
  • gender; 
  • sexual orientation (because you are gay or straight); 
  • because you have or are thinking of changing gender; 
  • your age;
  • because of a disability;  
  • you r religion, faith or beliefs.  

These are called ‘protected characteristics’.

In other words the law protects people who have these characteristics from being treated differently to people who do not have them.

If you are treated differently to a person who does not have your protected characteristic and you suffer what is called 'detriment', you have been discriminated against.

Here are some examples of different treatment:

·          you are Asian and your white co-worker gets promoted and you don't, despite the fact that  you are better qualified and more experienced; 

·          you are female and never get the same training offered as your male colleagues and they get promoted because they have done the training; 

·          you are gay and have a fight with a co-worker who is straight. You are sacked but he is not, by your straight employers;

·        you are disabled and your workplace is not adjusted to help you work as well as your able bodied colleagues and you are disciplined for your performance; 

·          you, a Muslim, are the subject of repeated 'jokes' by your white, Christian colleagues (also called ‘harassment'); 

·          you are not offered promotion as a person in your fifties when your younger colleagues are; 

·          you are white and get disciplined for taking too much sick leave when your black colleague does not;

·          you are made redundant because you are pregnant;

·          you are sacked for taking maternity leave; 

Here are examples of the 'detriment' you can suffer:

·          you are sacked when someone without your protected characteristic is not who has done the same thing; 

·          you are not offered a promotion; 

·          you are subjected to comments or adverse comment because of your protected characteristics;

·          you are not offered training that would allow you to get a promotion in the future;

·          you are not offered a job at all;

·          you are not offered a pay rise;

·          you are not paid the same for the same job as someone else;


These are just a few examples of what detriment can be.


If you have suffered this kind of treatment you should consider using the Work Rights App and finding out your rights now.

This is given as information only. It is not advice of any sort and if you have suffered any form of discrimination you are advised to take legal advice immediately,   



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