Sexual orientation discrimination

If you believe you have been treated less favourably on the grounds of your sexual orientation then please contact one of our solicitors for advice.

The Equality Act 2010 (“EA 2010”) protects a wide range of workers, including employees and job applicants, from being discriminated against in a wide range of situations (including, for example, recruitment, training and dismissal).

Your employer is prohibited from:

  1. Treating you less favourably because of your sexual orientation without a good reason (direct discrimination)
  2. Applying a neutral rule – Provision, Criterion or Practice (PCP) – to you that would put workers of the same sexual orientation as you at a disadvantage as compared to other workers not of the same sexual orientation (indirect discrimination)
  3. Subjecting you to harassment because of your sexual orientation
  4. Victimising you because you intend to or have undertaken a sexual orientation discrimination complaint

Although the employer is prohibited from doing these things they may justify such actions in certain circumstances. These include:

  1. Show that there is an occupational requirement for an employee to be of a certain sexual orientation
  2. If employment is for the purpose of an organised religion then an employer may be able to apply a requirement relating to your sexual orientation for limited specified reasons
  3. Address existing inequalities through the use of positive action. However, positive discrimination is not allowed

Your employer will be vicariously liable if you are discriminated against or victimised by another employee. Your employer will also be liable if you are harassed by a third party, the harassment took place on two or more occasions, your employer knew of the harassment and failed to take reasonably practicable steps to prevent the harassment. The offending employee or third party may also be liable.

Compensation for discrimination

If you were to be successful in an age discrimination complaint to the Employment Tribunal then depending on the circumstances you may be awarded a sum in compensation (including compensation for injury to feelings). The Tribunal can also make a declaration as to the rights of both parties and make an appropriate recommendation (including reinstatement, if applicable, or an apology).

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