Equality and discrimination
It is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you because of your age, sexual orientation or transexual / transgender status, or because of your sex (including pregnancy or maternity). Also because your race, religion or disability. These are called ‘protected characteristics’. For example:
- Sexist or racist language in the workplace
- Being sacked because you are pregnant, see here
- Being treated differently because you are gay or transgender, or being expected to put up with harassment from colleagues because of this
- Being asked to wear an article of clothing as part of a uniform that is prohibited by your religion
- Job adverts that specify an age range for applicants (though there are some exceptions such as being 18+ to work in a bar)
- An employer that fails to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the workplace for someone with a disability, so that they can do their job; such as access, specialist aids or flexible working
- Paying part time workers a lower rate of pay than full time workers, or denying them holiday.
For advice about discrimination at work, contact ACAS or one of the organisations here. See also ‘bullying‘.