The Equality Act 2010 Protected Characteristics are:
Where this is referred to in the Equality Act, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 32 year olds) or range of ages (e.g. 18 - 30 year olds). (As defined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission)
A person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.(As defined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission)
Marriage and Civil partnerships
Marriage is defined as a 'union between a man and a woman'. Same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'. Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters. (As defined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission)
Pregnancy and Maternity
Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. (As defined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission)
Race & Ethnicity
Refers to the Protected Characteristic of Race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins. (As defined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission)
Religion and belief.
Scotland is a religiously and culturally diverse country and NHS Fife respects the religious needs of patients in their care. Belief is a very individual concept and may include religious and philosophical beliefs including the absence of a “set faith” (e.g. Atheism). An individual’s beliefs should shape their life choices, or the way they live their life, for it to be included in the definition. (As defined by the Equality and Human Righ(As defined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission).
Religion and belief
Religion refers to any religion, including a lack of religion. Belief refers to any religious or philosophical belief and includes a lack of belief. Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.
A man or a women. (As defined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission)
Sexual Orientation is a Protected Characteristic relating to a person’s sexual orientation towards people of:
- The same sex as him or her (the person is a gay man or a lesbian)
- The opposite sex from him or her (the person is heterosexual)
- Both sexes (the person is bisexual)
The Equality Act 2010 replaces the provisions of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Equality Act 2006. The law prohibits discrimination that is direct or indirect and whether it is based on a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation. For example, protection is provided if someone uses homophobic banter (i.e. comments, words and actions/gestures that refer negatively to gay, lesbian or bisexual people).
Additional resources from Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Centre