Sexual orientation discrimination

Laura Merrylees Editor's message: Sexual orientation is a "protected characteristic" under the Equality Act 2010 and means sexual orientation towards persons of the same sex, persons of the opposite sex or persons of either sex. Its protection extends from direct and indirect discrimination to harassment and victimisation, including discrimination on the grounds of a person's perceived sexual orientation.

Ensuring that your organisation respects and values employees of whatever sexual orientation is key to establishing an inclusive and diverse workplace. There are various steps that your organisation can take to achieve this, including equality awareness training and having an effective equal opportunities policy that is promoted and embedded within its culture. Such steps will also help your organisation to defend a complaint should it ever arise.

Laura Merrylees, employment law editor

New and updated

  • Date:
    11 October 2017
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    HR has a key role in preventing discrimination against transgender people. Jennie Kermode, author of a new book on transgender people in the workplace, gives six tips on making the workplace more inclusive.

  • Sexual orientation discrimination awards 2016/17

    Type:
    Quick reference

    A table listing the sexual orientation discrimination awards made by employment tribunals in 2016/17.

  • Sexual orientation discrimination

    Type:
    Employment law manual

    Updated to include information on Walker v Innospec Ltd and others, in which the Supreme Court considered entitlement to pension benefits for same-sex partners.

  • Date:
    6 July 2017
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    In July 1967, the Sexual Offences Act 1967 partially decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales. To mark the 50th anniversary of this seminal moment in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, we highlight some of the key milestones for workplace protection against sexual orientation discrimination.

  • Cases on appeal

    Date:
    1 June 2017
    Type:
    Law reports

    Cases on appeal provides news on key case law developments that are expected.

  • Podcast: Justifying indirect discrimination

    Date:
    24 February 2017
    Type:
    Audio and video

    In this week's podcast, we explore the steps that you can take to reduce the risk of having an indirectly discriminatory provision, criterion or practice. We also discuss what to take into account when deciding whether or not indirect discrimination can be justified.

  • ECJ case law round-up: recent discrimination decisions

    Date:
    7 December 2016
    Type:
    Law reports

    We round up three recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgments about discrimination. The ECJ has recently considered: temporary incapacity caused by a workplace accident in Barcelona; the recruitment age limit for Basque police officers; and survivors' pensions for same-sex partners in Ireland.

  • Sexual orientation discrimination: Christian bakery's refusal to make cake with message of support for same-sex marriage

    Date:
    26 October 2016
    Type:
    Law reports

    In this case about discrimination in the provision of goods and services, the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal has held that a Christian bakery committed direct sexual orientation discrimination when it refused to fulfil an order for a cake featuring a message in support of same-sex marriage.

  • Sexual orientation discrimination awards 2015/16

    Type:
    Quick reference

    A table listing the sexual orientation discrimination awards made by employment tribunals in 2015/16.

  • Sexual orientation discrimination awards 2014/15

    Type:
    Quick reference

    A table listing the sexual orientation discrimination awards made by employment tribunals in 2014/15.