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Smith & Wood's Employment Law

Smith & Wood's Employment Law (14th edn)

Ian Smith, Aaron Baker, and Owen Warnock
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date: 25 September 2022

p. 2444. Discrimination in employmentlocked

p. 2444. Discrimination in employmentlocked

  • Ian Smith, Ian Smithof Gray’s Inn, Barrister, Emeritus Professor of Employment Law at the University of East Anglia, General editor of Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law
  • Aaron BakerAaron BakerAssociate Professor (Reader) in Law at Durham University
  •  and Owen WarnockOwen WarnockFormer Partner, Eversheds Sutherland, Solicitors, Emeritus Professor of Employment Law, University of East Anglia, An editor of Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law


This chapter discusses anti-discrimination law in the UK in the employment sphere. After providing a brief history of the development of UK discrimination law, it introduces the Equality Act 2010, explaining the forms of discrimination it covers and how it works. Key concepts of equality law are then discussed, such as direct and indirect discrimination and unique mechanisms for proving a discrimination claim. After outlining the remedies available in discrimination actions, the chapter then explores issues specific to discrete grounds of discrimination. This analysis tackles sex-discriminatory dress codes, the problem of what counts as an ‘ethnicity’, and the apparent clash between protections against sexual orientation discrimination and religious discrimination. Finally, the specialized approaches to disability and age discrimination under the Equality Act are explained, rounding out a comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of UK employment discrimination law.

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