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Cover Employment Law in Context

11. The Protected Characteristics  

This chapter analyses the ‘protected characteristics’ in the Equality Act 2010. These include sex, gender re-assignment, pregnancy, and maternity discrimination; race discrimination; religion or belief discrimination; sexual orientation, marriage, and civil partnership discrimination; and age discrimination. It examines these protected characteristics in detail, including some of the ‘boundary disputes’ which arise in the case of some of them. It then explores the genuine occupational requirements exception; the mechanics of the reversed burden of proof in discrimination cases; and the law of vicarious liability in the context of discrimination. Finally, the chapter sets out the various remedies available where a claimant is successful in his/her discrimination complaint before an employment tribunal.


Cover Employment Law

16. Sex discrimination  

This chapter deals with sex discrimination law under the Equality Act. It discusses the historical and legal background of sex discrimination law, protected characteristics and prohibited conduct on grounds of sex discrimination. Sex discrimination is symmetrical in that it can be claimed by both men and women. Direct sex discrimination cannot be justified unless there is an occupational requirement while indirect sex discrimination can be objectively justified. A person who has been treated less favourably for claiming sex discrimination or giving evidence in such a matter can claim victimisation. A person can claim harassment, and sexual harassment is also specifically outlawed in the Equality Act. The chapter also discusses dress codes.