Discrimination at work

This page looks at your rights if you are treated less well than others in the workplace because of your age, disability, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or if you are trans. There are laws in England and Wales to protect you from being discriminated against at work. If you are being discriminated against at work, your employer has a duty to stop it.

Discrimination is any form of unfair treatment directed at someone because of their gender identity, sexuality, race, religion or age  or because of a disability (these are often referred to as 'protected characteristics').

It could come in the form of bullying or mean 'jokes', being given more than a fair share of the unpleasant tasks or shifts, or being passed over for promotion or paid less than others.

Discrimination can be done on purpose or by accident.

And it can be what is called 'direct discrimination' like the examples above, or 'indirect discrimination' - this is when the same rules are in place for everyone, but they particularly affect some groups with 'protected characteristics' harshly. For example, if a workplace insisted that nobody could wear anything on their head when at work - it is the same rule for everybody but would be particularly problematic for staff members who wear a hijab, turban or kippah for religious reasons. 

We have hand-picked the best accurate information available about discrimination law in England and Wales available anywhere on the web, so that you don't have to.

Discrimination at work

August 2023

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