What are protected characteristics?

Protected characteristics are personal characteristics which are protected by discrimination law. The following characteristics are protected: Sex Race Disability Age Religion or belief Sexual orientation Transgender status To find out more about how these protected characteristics can give rise to… Read on

Sex segregation not discriminatory

This case involves the segregation of pupils between the ages of 9 and 16 at a school, in order to reflect an Islamic ethos. Was this discriminatory? Background This was a challenge by the school to an inspection report which… Read on

Gay cake case continues

The Irish case highlighting tensions between religious conviction and equal rights has now been determined in the Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland. It concerns a bakery’s refusal to make a cake carrying the message “support gay marriage”. Background The… Read on

Top tips for references

Our clients are often asking us what their obligations are when it comes to providing references for ex-employees, and here are our top tips. When providing references, employers owe various legal duties both to the new employer and to the… Read on

Ban on Islamic head scarf: direct discrimination

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice has recently considered a case in France, where there was a blanket prohibition on Islamic head scarves in a company. This was found to be direct discrimination, and further, because it… Read on

Brexism – be aware

Since the Brexit vote to leave the EU, a political divide has arisen between two very deeply held beliefs amongst the British public. Much of the divide has become extremely emotional. Matters are likely to be compounded because on one… Read on

Abuse due to immigration status not discrimination

We report on recent judgments of the Supreme Court in which they have held that domestic workers who were seriously abused because of their immigration status were not discriminated against on the grounds of race or nationality. Background Ms Onu… Read on

Was dress code banning Muslim headscarf legal?

The European Court of Justice has given a judgment in a case where a Muslim employee was barred from wearing her head dress by G4S. How did the Advocate General decide? Background The Equal Treatment Framework Directive (which underlies equality… Read on

New case on childcare vouchers

The EAT has recently made a decision as to whether it was discriminatory to suspend childcare vouchers during maternity leave which were provided through a salary sacrifice scheme. Background The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 only suspend “remuneration” during… Read on