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Posted by CareerBuilder UK on 24 August 2015 in HR Glossary, Communication, Labour market | No Comment


The UK Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society by protecting people from being treated less favourably because they have a protected characteristic. The relevant protected characteristics in employment are:

• age

• disability

• gender reassignment

• marriage and civil partnership

• pregnancy and maternity

• race (including ethnic or national origins, colour and nationality)

• religion or belief (including lack of belief)

• sex

• sexual orientation

It is unlawful to discriminate against anyone, at work or in job adverts, based on these 9 characteristics.

The act's specific “positive action” provisions are voluntary and apply exclusively to recruitment and promotion. They allow employers to encourage people with a particular characteristic to join their organisations: when choosing between two equally qualified candidates, employers are also permitted to give preference to an applicant with a protected characteristic whom they reasonably believe is disadvantaged or under-represented at work.

Protection is also extended to indirect discrimination. So, for example, individuals could bring claims against an employer on the basis of a job advert without even applying for the job. Employers need to be careful how they word their job adverts – for example, asking for “young and dynamic” candidates or “recent graduates” may discriminate against older applicants.


Further information (UK Government):



Source: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/your-rights/employment/applying-job/positive-action-and-recruitment

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