No employee or potential employee should receive less favourable treatment or consideration on the grounds that they are married or in a civil partnership or be disadvantaged by any conditions of employment or requirements that cannot be justified. This law is governed by the Equality Act 2010 and discrimination in recruitment, promotion, terms and conditions of employment, training, disciplinary and grievance procedures, dismissals and redundancy.
There is no definition of marriage or civil partnership within the Act. Long established case law however sets out that marriage is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. Whilst this definition may be a little old fashioned in today’s society it is a commonly understood term. A civil partnership is defined in the Civil Partnership Act 2004 as a relationship between two people of the same sex where the partnership is registered either in the UK or overseas, the latter with some complex exceptions.
Marriage and civil partnership discrimination can take the following forms:-
This is where a person (A) treats another (B), because of they are married or in a civil partnership, less favourably than A treats or would treat others.
This is where an employer applies a provision, criterion or practice equally to all but it puts or would put people who are married or in a civil partnership at a particular disadvantage when compared with others or puts a person who is married or in a civil partnership at a disadvantage and it cannot be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
A person (A) victimises another person (B) if A subjects B to a detriment because B raises a grievance about marriage or civil partnership discrimination, brings a claim of marriage or civil partnership discrimination, complains about or alleges marriage or civil partnership discrimination or gives evidence or information in relation to someone else’s marriage or civil partnership discrimination claim or because A believes that B has done or may do one of those things. So if for example you are denied promotion or training because of your involvement in a complaint of marriage or civil partnership discrimination, this may be considered victimisation.
If an allegation is made in bad faith or false evidence or information is given this may mean you are not protected.
If you think that you have suffered any of the above kinds of gender reassignment discrimination then contact us for an initial telephone consultation to assess the merits of your case.