Sexual orientation discrimination

No employee or potential employee should receive less favourable treatment or consideration on the grounds of their sexual orientation 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 is prohibited.

Sexual orientation is defined within the Act as a person’s sexual orientation towards persons of the same sex, persons of the opposite sex or persons of either sex.

Sexual orientation discrimination can take the following forms:-

Direct Discrimination

This is where a person (A) treats another (B), because of their sexual orientation, less favourably than A treats or would treat others.

Indirect Discrimination

This is where an employer applies a provision, criterion or practice equally to all but it puts or would put people who are of a particular sexual orientation at a particular disadvantage when compared with others or puts a person of a particular sexual orientation at a disadvantage and it cannot be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Harassment

A person (A) harasses another (B) if:-

(a) A engages in unwanted conduct for a reason related to B’s sexual orientation; and

(b) the unwanted conduct has the purpose or effect of (i) violating B’s dignity or (ii) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B.

Victimisation

A person (A) victimises another person (B) if A subjects B to a detriment because B raises a grievance about sexual orientation discrimination, brings a claim of sexual orientation discrimination, complains about or alleges sexual orientation discrimination or gives evidence or information in relation to someone else’s sexual orientation 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 sexual orientation 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 sexual orientation discrimination then contact us for an initial telephone consultation to assess the merits of your case.

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