The Equality Act 2010 lists certain “Protected Characteristics” that no one – including employers – is allowed to discriminate against. One of these characteristics is marriage and civil partnership.
This means that if you suffer marriage and civil partnership discrimination in the workplace or in any other part of the employment process (such as recruitment, promotions, dismissal and employment benefits), you might be able to take your case to an employment tribunal.
The Equality Act does not define either marriage or civil partnerships and so other laws apply to this: marriage is defined to be between one man and one woman under the 1949 Marriage Act, while the 2004 Civil Partnership Act states that such a partnership should be between two people of the same sex.
Civil Partnership and Marriage Discrimination – examples
Examples of marriage or civil partnership discrimination include:
• Harassment because of your marriage or partnership status, or perceived status.
• Working practices put into place that put you at a disadvantage in comparison to other employees or job applicants.
• Dismissing you due to your marriage or partnership status.
• People in civil partnerships not being accorded the same rights as married people, such as flexible working, adoption leave, paternity pay and leave, survivor pensions and health insurance.
• Civil partners being denied benefits that are automatically given to married people in the same job, such as employment training.
Single people are not protected by this protected characteristic and so if they are the victim of employment discrimination would need to make a different type of claim.
If you believe you have experienced marriage and civil partnership discrimination in your workplace and are unable to resolve it internally (such as by contacting your union representative and/or following company procedure), you should seek legal advice from specialist employment lawyers to find out more about your options – and whether in particular you have grounds making a discrimination claim for compensation.
Civil Partnership and Marriage Discrimination – time limits
If you take your case to an employment tribunal, you will need to do so within 3 months of the most recent incident of discrimination although there is no qualifying period of employment for this type of employment tribunal claim.
Any evidence you have to support your marriage and civil partnership discrimination claim will be helpful. If you are successful at your employment tribunal, you are likely to be awarded compensation for injury to your feelings and any loss of income or benefits you’ve suffered due to the discrimination. The tribunal can also recommended changes that the employer should make to address the issues raised in your claim.
Victim of Civil Partnership or Marriage Discrimination at work?
If you believe that you suffered from Civil Partnership or Marriage Discrimination, our expert employment solicitors are here to help. Our team represents clients throughout England and Wales in discrimination based Employment Tribunal Compensation Claims. So for specialist advice you can rely on, call us today for
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