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What are the different types of discrimination?

If you've been treated unfairly because of who you are, it may unlawful discrimination. This section explains what the different types of unlawful discrimination are.

Direct discrimination

Lists the physical and personal characteristics which are protected by law and explains that you are not allowed to be treated differently from other people because of those characteristics.

Indirect discrimination

Explains what is meant by indirect discrimination, when a practice, policy, or rule applied to everyone puts certain groups of people at a disadvantage.

Comparators in direct discrimination cases

Explains what is meant by comparators in discrimination cases - proving someone with a protected characteristic has not been treated worse than someone without that characteristic.

Justifying discrimination

Explains the reasons why discrimination might be justified in some situations, according to the Equality Act 2010.

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work and outside work, and what counts as unfavourable treatment.

Absence from work because of gender reassignment

Explains how you are protected from discrimination if you need to take time off work because of gender reassignment (sex change).

Discrimination connected to your disability

Explains how you might be treated unfairly because of something connected to a disability, such as special equipment or adaptations, rather than the disability itself.

Duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people

Explains the duty of employers, and providers of education, housing and other facilities, to make reasonable adjustments to allow disabled users to access premises and services.

Making or telling someone to discriminate

Explains that it is illegal to make someone discriminate against, harass or victimise a certain individual or group and action you can take if it happens.


Explains what is meant by victimisation - when you have raised concerns about discrimination against you, or someone else, and you are treated badly because of this.