Unlawful discrimination policy

Direct discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably than a comparator in another protected group. The comparator has to be in roughly the same position as them. For example, an older employee receives a higher salary increase than a younger team member doing the same role as them. This will not be considered less favourable treatment if there are objective reasons for the decision, such as a higher level of performance.

For a female who is pregnant or on maternity leave the concept of less favourable treatment does not apply and an individual simply has to show unfavourable treatment related to pregnancy or maternity leave.

Indirect discrimination occurs when a policy or procedure, criterion or practice is applied consistently to all employees or job applicants, that has (or would have) a disproportionate adverse effect on a protected group. In effect, there is no less favourable treatment as everyone is expected to comply with the provision, criteria or practice but a particular group is less able to meet the requirement and are, therefore, disadvantaged.

It is possible to justify this type of discrimination if it can be shown to be a proportionate way of achieving a legitimate business aim.

Harassment is any form of unwanted behaviour, related to a protected characteristic, that has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity; or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It does not matter whether or not the person responsible for the conduct intended this effect.

Sexual harassment is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature and includes less favourable treatment because an individual submits to, or rejects, sexual harassment or unwanted sexual advances.

Associative discrimination is where an individual is directly discriminated against or harassed for association with another individual who has a protected characteristic.

Perceptive discrimination is where an individual is directly discriminated against or harassed based on a perception that he/she/they has a particular protected characteristic when he/she/they does not, in fact, have that protected characteristic (other than marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity).

Victimisation occurs where an employee is subjected to a detriment, such as being denied a training opportunity or a promotion because he/she/they made or supported a complaint or raised a grievance under the Equality Act 2010, or because he/she/they is suspected of doing so. However, an employee is not protected from victimisation if he/she/they acted maliciously or made or supported an untrue complaint.

Failure to make reasonable adjustments is where a physical feature or a provision, criterion or practice puts a person with a disability at a substantial disadvantage compared to someone who does not have that protected characteristic, and the employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments to enable the person with a disability to overcome the disadvantage.