Discrimination means treating you unfairly because of who you are. The Equality Act 2010 protects you from discrimination by:
There are nine protected characteristics in the Equality Act. Discrimination which happens because of one or more of these characteristics is unlawful under the Act. We all have some of these characteristics - for example, sex or age - so the Act protects everyone from discrimination.
If you’re treated unfairly because someone thinks you belong to a group of people with protected characteristics, this is also unlawful discrimination.
The characteristics that are protected by the Equality Act 2010 are:
The Act also protects you if people in your life, like family members or friends, have a protected characteristic and you're treated unfairly because of that. This is called discrimination by association. For example, if you're discriminated against because your son is gay.
The Equality Act protects you if you're treated badly because you've complained about discrimination or stood up for discrimination rights, either for yourself or for someone else.
Citizens Advice and the Government Equalities Office have produced two guides to some of your rights under the Equality Act.
To download an online copy of the Equality Act 2010: What do I need to know? A summary guide to your rights, click on Equality Act 2010: What do I need to know [ 210 kb].
To download an online copy of the Equality Act 2010: What do I need to know as a carer? click on Equality Act 2010: What do I need to know as a carer [ 230 kb].
For information about the Equality Act 2010 and your rights in BSL go to Discrimination advice in BSL
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