Discrimination means treating you unfairly because of a particular characteristic you have. The Equality Act 2010 protects you from discrimination by:
· Businesses and organisations which provide goods or services like banks, shops and utility companies
· Health and care providers like hospitals and care homes
· Someone you rent or buy a property from like housing associations or estate agents
· Schools, universities and other education providers
· Transport services like buses, trains or taxis
· Public bodies like governmental departments and local authorities
There are nine protected characteristics in the Equality Act. Discrimination occurs when one or more of these characteristics is unlawful under the Act. We all have some of these characteristics – for example, sex or age – so the Act protects everyone from discrimination.
The characteristics that are protected by the Equality Act 2010 are:
· Gender reassignment
· Marriage or civil partnership (in employment only)
· Pregnancy and maternity
· Religion or belief
· Sexual orientation
Discrimination based on association
Direct discrimination also occurs when you treat a student less favourably because of their association with another person who has a protected characteristic (other than pregnancy and maternity).
This might occur when you treat a student less favourably because their sibling, parent, carer or friend has a protected characteristic.
If you complain about discrimination
The Equality Act 2010 protects you if you’re treated badly because you have complained about discrimination or stood up against discrimination, either for yourself or for someone else.