The direct discrimination provisions of the Equality Act 2010 replace the provisions contained in the previous discrimination legislation (eg the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976 etc).
While the Equality Act uses some different wording for direct discrimination, the key principles remain the same.
Direct discrimination is treating an employee:
The definition of "employment, under s.83(2) of the Equality Act 2010, is broader than the employment definition used for unfair dismissal and other employment claims. This means that the use of "employee" in this section should be read as including workers, apprentices, etc.
Age is the only protected characteristic where direct discrimination can be justified.
There are some limited exceptions from unlawful direct discrimination.