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Sex Discrimination

Under the Equality Act 2010 it's unlawful for an employer to discriminate against you because of your sex.

Sex discrimination law covers almost all workers and all types of organisation in the UK in the following areas:

  • recruitment
  • employment terms and conditions
  • pay and benefits
  • training
  • promotion and transfer opportunities
  • redundancy
  • dismissal

There are 4 kinds of sex discrimination:

  • direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably because of their actual or perceived sex, or because of the sex of someone with whom they associate
  • indirect discrimination: where your employer has a policy, practice or procedure that applies to all workers, but particularly disadvantages workers of a particular sex. Indirect discrimination can only be justified if your employer has a genuine business need
  • harassment: when unwanted conduct related to sex has the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them
  • victimisation: unfair treatment of an employee who has made or supported a complaint about sex discrimination

If you feel you've been discriminated against, you should talk to your employer without delay.  You may want to raise the matter informally in the first instance.  Alternatively, your employer should have a grievance procedure that you can use.  You may also be able to make a claim in the Employment Tribunal.

Positive action
In some circumstances, an employer may encourage or offer support specifically to men or women.

Contact us if you would like further information about sex discrimination.


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