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તમારા વિસ્તારમાં કોઇ કાનૂની સલાહકાર શોધો

15 Equal Opportunities

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1. Introduction

2. When discrimination can happen

3. Types of discrimination

4. Sex discrimination

5. Transgender people

6. Discrimination because you are gay, lesbian or bisexual

Under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, it is unlawful to discriminate against you at work because of your sexual orientation or sexual preference. The regulations also cover work- related training.

The regulations say it is against the law for an employer or potential employer to discriminate against you because you are (or people think you are) gay, lesbian, heterosexual or bisexual. This includes:

  • deciding not to employ you;
  • dismissing you;
  • giving you worse terms and conditions at work;
  • not giving you training or a promotion; and
  • not giving you the same benefits that people of a different sexual orientation have (unless the benefits are only relevant to married people).

You are also protected from harassment and victimisation.

Benefits for same sex-partners

If an employer gives benefits, such as insurance or private health care, to heterosexual unmarried partners, then refusing to give the same benefits to same-sex partners would be discrimination. Employers do not have to give gay couples benefits that are specially for married couples. Yet both kinds of couple should get the same parental or adoption leave, if they are entitled to it.

When an employer is allowed to discriminate

In some circumstances, an employer is allowed to discriminate if it is a ‘genuine occupational requirement’ that the jobholder must be of a particular sexual orientation. For example, in some cases, it may be lawful for an organisation providing welfare services to lesbian, gay and bisexual people to insist on some workers being of a particular sexual orientation.

It is important that each post is considered separately. An employer may claim a genuine occupational requirement only if the work must be done by someone of a particular sexual orientation, not just because the employer would prefer it.

Also, an employer may not claim a genuine occupational requirement if they already have enough employees who can do those parts of the job that need someone with a particular sexual orientation. For example, if only a small part of the job (say, a job as a counsellor that sometimes included counselling gay or lesbian people) qualified for a genuine occupational requirement, then existing members of staff could do this part of the job. The post in question would be adapted to exclude counselling gay or lesbian people, so a genuine occupational requirement would not apply to it.

To make sure it is still valid, an employer should check whether a post still has a genuine occupational requirementeach time it becomes vacant.

People with HIV or AIDS

If you have HIV or AIDS, you may face discrimination. Whether or not you are gay, you may have protection under the Disability Discrimination Act. For more information, see the Gurkha Free Legal Advice leaflet .

7. Discrimination because of your religion or beliefs

8. Discrimination because of your age

9. What you can do about discrimination

10. Dealing with discrimination at work

11. Going to an employment tribunal

12. Dealing with other types of discrimination

13. The Human Rights Act

14. Further help

15. About this leaflet


This leaflet was published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with Sara Leslie

Leaflet Version: December 2007

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