Creating a fairer Britain
The Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010. Some of the information on this page may be out of date.
It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against you in the terms of your employment or the conditions you work under because of your age, gender, race, disability, religion and belief, or sexual orientation.
Terms and conditions covers aspects of an employer’s working practices such as hours of work, dress codes, the physical conditions of the workplace, the atmosphere and environment, holidays, flexi-time, and so on.
For example, if an employer imposes a dress code that appears to treat one sex less favourably than the other, you may have a claim of direct sex discrimination.
Requiring every member of staff to work full-time, or conform to particular shift patterns, may discriminate indirectly against women, who are likely to have more onerous childcare responsibilities than men, or against members of religious groups which require observance at particular times or days of the week.
There are a number of special conditions employers must meet to make sure working conditions are fair for all employees.