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Sexual discrimination

Discrimination on grounds of sex

Sex discrimination can be direct or indirect.

What is direct discrimination?

When a person is treated less favourably on account of their sex in relation to recruitment, selection, training, promotion, selection for redundancy etc.

What is indirect discrimination?

When an employer imposes a requirement, condition or practice which fewer persons of one sex can fulfil. For example, a requirement to be above a certain height (which fewer women than men could fulfil).  

What rights do I have?

Employers must not discriminate against you because of your sex or because you are married, because you have undergone (or intend to undergo) gender reassignment or because of your pregnancy or maternity leave. Harassment at work is also unlawful.

This applies to recruitment, your treatment in your job, chances for promotion and training, dismissal or redundancy. Employers must not label jobs 'for men' or 'for women' except in some very special circumstances: a person's sex can be considered a 'genuine occupational qualification' in jobs such as acting or for reasons of privacy and decency.

Employers must not discriminate against you on the basis of sex, in relation to your pay. For example, if you and another colleague of the opposite sex are doing the same job but you are paid less, then you have a right to equal pay – unless the employer can show there is a genuine reason for the pay difference which is not based on sex.

Advertisements must not show that the employer intends to discriminate unlawfully.

You are protected by the law in case you are victimised for trying to exercise your rights under the sex discrimination legislation.

Read what our clients have recently said about our Employment Service in our client testimonials.

See our advice about settlement agreements.

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Contact us today to speak to one of our specialist Employment solicitors if you believe you have been discriminated against by your employer.

Further information

Speak to our employment team, in confidence on 0113 320 5000.

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