People with disabilities make up 20% of the workforce and around 10 million people in Britain have a disability or long-term health condition.
Under discrimination law a person is defined as having a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
As an employer we have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for employees to help them overcome disadvantage resulting from an impairment (for example, by providing assistive technologies to help visually impaired staff use computers effectively).
Our schools must also take positive steps so that disabled pupils can access and participate in the education and other activities they provide.
What is disability discrimination?
It is discrimination to treat a disabled person unfavourably because of something connected with their disability (for example, a tendency to make spelling mistakes arising from dyslexia).
There are six main types of disability discrimination:
Age discrimination affects many people. Young people may experience age discrimination by being belittled, passed over for jobs or low pay just because they are young, and older people may be denied jobs or refused work because an employer believes they are too old.
What is age discrimination?
Age discrimination is where a person is treated unfairly because of their age or because they are part of a particular age group.
There are four main types of age discrimination:
There are some circumstances when being treated differently due to age is lawful. For example, age as a protected characteristic does not apply to pupils in schools. Schools therefore remain free to admit and organise children in age groups and to treat pupils in ways appropriate to their age and stage of development without risk of legal challenge.
Although trans people make up approximately 1 per cent of the UK population, discrimination against trans* people remains significant. Trans people are more likely to experience discrimination and even violence than any other minority group.
A person has the protected characteristic of ‘gender re-assignment’ if that person is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) to become a gender different to the gender assigned at birth.
What is gender reassignment discrimination?
Gender reassignment discrimination takes place when someone is treated unfairly on the basis of their actual or proposed gender reassignment. The unfair treatment could be a one-off action or a blanket workplace rule or policy that puts a transsexual or trans person at a particular disadvantage.
There are four main types of gender reassignment discrimination:
*In 2016 a Women and Equalities Committee report made over 30 recommendations calling for government action to ensure full equality for trans people.
One of the report’s recommendations was that the use of the terms ‘gender reassignment’ and ‘transsexual’ in the Equality Act 2010 are outdated and misleading. The preferred umbrella term is trans.
Racism has no place in our society. Social and economic data reveals vast disparities between different ethnicities in the UK. Inequalities persist in education, employment, housing and the justice system.
As a Trust, we must be part of the change we all need, to step up and stamp out prejudice, and to build diverse and supportive cultures of respect and fairness for all.
Race discrimination, illegal in the UK since 1976, arises when someone is unfairly disadvantaged for reasons related to their race which includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins.
There are four main types of race discrimination:
Marriage and civil partnerships
You may think that discrimination based on someone’s marital status is no longer an issue in this day and age, but unfortunately cases do arise.
Marriage or in a civil partnership covers anyone who is married in a legally-recognised union (different and same sex) and those who are in a civil partnership (of same sex), but it excludes anyone who is single, divorced, widowed, cohabiting or those who are engaged to wed.
What is marriage and civil partnership discrimination?
This is when a persons is treated less favourably because of their martial status.
Discrimination can include:
Pregnancy and maternity
While being pregnant and working are not mutually exclusive; unfortunately, some women do face unfair treatment at work as a result.
Pregnancy and maternity discrimination is when a woman is treated unfairly because they are pregnant, breastfeeding or because they’ve recently given birth. A woman is protected against discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity during the period of her pregnancy and any statutory maternity leave to which she is entitled.
There are four main types of pregnancy or maternity discrimination:
Religion or belief
Society now includes people with a broader range of religious beliefs, as well as people with no religious beliefs at all.
Religion or belief is a protected characteristic which falls under the Equality Act 2010. This covers people with religious or philosophical beliefs.
Religion – To be considered a religion within the meaning of the Act, it must have a clear structure and belief system. Examples include: Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism, Rastafarianism, Paganism plus many others.
Philosophical belief – A philosophical belief is a belief (not an opinion or viewpoint), which is genuinely held and affects your life choices or the way you live. The belief must also be acceptable in a democratic society and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others.
Examples of philosophical beliefs given by the courts, include the belief in man-made climate change and Atheism.
What is religious or belief discrimination?
This is when you are treated less favourably because of your religion or belief, including lack of religion or belief.
Discrimination can include:
When we talk about the gender pay gap and wider gender discrimination issues in the workplace, much of the conversation centres around women. In the context of the Equality Act, sex can mean either male or female, or a group of people like men or boys, or women or girls.
In everyday language as well as in the law, the terms “gender” and “sex” are used inter-changeably, but the two terms have different meanings. Social scientists use the term “sex” to refer to a person’s biological or anatomical identity as male or female, while reserving the term “gender” for the collection of characteristics that are culturally associated with maleness or femaleness. Discrimination is generally illegal regardless of whether it is based on sex, or gender, or both sex and gender.
In schools Britain, a gender gap persists, with girls continuing to perform better than boys in GCSEs. However, employment prospects are still better for men who are almost twice as likely to be a manager, director or senior official than a woman.
Sex discrimination occurs when someone is unfairly disadvantaged for reasons related to their sex. Although most sex discrimination occurs against women, it’s just as unlawful to discriminate against a man because of his sex.
Sexual harassment at work still persists and the media has brought the issue firmly into the public eye along with campaigns to raise awareness and prompt action to tackle it
Discrimination can include:
Sexual orientation means a person’s sexual orientation towards: persons of the same sex, persons of the opposite sex, or persons of either sex.
Discrimination because of sexual orientation is when you are treated unfairly because of your sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is also know as sexuality.
Sexual orientation is usually divided into these categories:
Discrimination can include:
Whilst not a protected characteristic under discrimination law, as a Trust, we have chosen to include it within our equality work. Children growing up in poverty and disadvantage are less likely to do well at school. This feeds into
disadvantage in later life and in turn affects their children. To break this cycle, we need to address the attitudes
and experiences that lie behind social differences in education.
Social disadvantage is a concept that broadly refers to various aspects of social positions, such as poverty and deprivation, economic status, education and health. It also encompasses individuals who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice and cultural bias because of their identities as members of groups and without regard to their individual qualities.
Some examples of when members of society would be regarded as living within conditions of social disadvantage are:
– If their capita income is low. Low income is a strong predictor of low educational performance
– They do not have safely sustainable places to live.
– There is a scarcity of food, clean water, electricity and provision of basic needs.
– They do not have access to education, or their access to education is limited due to barriers arising from lack of material resources.
Key words associated with social disadvantage are: poverty, education, unemployment, social capital, behavioural development.