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Gender reassignment discrimination

Updating author: Tina McKevitt


  • Gender reassignment is a "protected characteristic" under the Equality Act 2010. (See Who is protected?)
  • As well as being liable for its own actions, there are circumstances in which an employer will be liable for the acts of others. (See Who is liable?)
  • The Equality Act 2010 prohibits direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment. (See Prohibited conduct)
  • Direct discrimination is where, because of the protected characteristic of gender reassignment, a person treats another person less favourably than that person treats or would treat other persons. (See Direct discrimination)
  • Employees are protected from less favourable treatment connected with absences because of gender reassignment. (See Cases of absence from work)
  • Indirect discrimination occurs where a "provision, criterion or practice" puts persons who share the protected characteristic of gender reassignment at a "particular disadvantage". Under the Equality Act 2010, it is possible for employers to justify indirect discrimination. (See Indirect discrimination and Justification)
  • Harassment is unwanted conduct related to an individual's protected characteristic of gender reassignment that has the purpose or effect of violating his or her dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual. (See Harassment)
  • Victimisation occurs when a person is subjected to a detriment because they did a protected act. (See Victimisation)
  • There are some exceptions from unlawful reassignment discrimination. (See Occupational requirements and Other exceptions)