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It is against the law to discriminate against someone in the workplace as a result of an actual – or perceived – protected characteristic as set out in the Equality Act.
There are nine different protected characteristics outlined within the Act:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

If you are the victim of sexual orientation discrimination at work, you should contact a specialist employment law solicitor who is experienced in cases of discrimination in the workplace.

Discrimination because of sexual orientation under The Equality  Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 prevents discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in a place of employment or vocational training.  

The regulations aim to prevent discrimination in all areas of employment, including:

  • The recruitment process
  • Within the workplace
  • Upon dismissal
  • After employment has ceased (in certain circumstances only)

The anti-discrimination rules within the Act apply to:

  • Terms and conditions of employment
  • Salary
  • Promotion
  • Training
  • Transfers
  • Dismissal

The Act protects anyone who is discriminated against as a result of:

  • Their own sexuality
  • Their perceived sexuality
  • The sexual orientation of their friends or members of their family

Types of sexual orientation discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 specifies four main types of sexual orientation discrimination with regard to the workplace:

  • Direct discrimination – where someone is treated less favourably due to their actual or perceived sexual orientation, or the sexual orientation of their family or friends
  • Indirect discrimination – whereby a workplace practice or procedure places people of a particular sexual orientation at a disadvantage
  • Harassment – any unwanted conduct that violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, offensive, degrading, hostile or humiliating environment relating to their sexual orientation. There is no defence of justification in respect of harassment and it is deemed as unlawful whether it is intentional or unintentional
  • Victimisation – where someone is treated less favourably than others because they have made – or intend to make – a complaint or allegation against another, or they give or intend to give evidence in relation to a complaint of sexual orientation discrimination at work

At Kew Law we have the extensive knowledge and expertise to provide you with advice and expertise in all workplace discrimination claims, including those of sexual orientation discrimination related to the workplace or the recruitment process.

Whether you wish to raise sexual orientation discrimination issues through a formal grievance procedure, or the sexual orientation discrimination you are experiencing may include disciplinary proceedings brought against you, our specialist solicitors are here to advise you.

Contact us for an initial discussion regarding your case. To make an appointment with a specialist employment law solicitor, call us on 0333 322 1000 or 0800 987 8156.

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