Marriage and civil partnership discrimination

Qian Mou Editor's message: The Equality Act 2010 prohibits direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and victimisation because of the protected characteristic of marriage and civil partnership.

A person possesses the characteristic only if he or she is married or a civil partner. This means that single people, those who are living together but are not legally married or in a registered civil partnership, and those who are divorced or whose civil partnership has been dissolved, are not protected.

In the context of direct discrimination, the less favourable treatment required to establish discrimination must be because of the complainant's status and not anyone else's. As such, unlike most other forms of direct discrimination, direct marriage and civil partnership discrimination does not extend to claims based on perception or association.

Qian Mou, employment law editor

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HR and legal information and guidance relating to marriage and civil partnership discrimination.