Discrimination is when someone is treated unfairly because of who they are or because of a protected characteristic such as age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership or pregnancy and maternity.
Types of discrimination:
Direct discrimination: Treating someone less favourably because of who they are, especially if it’s because of a protected characteristic as listed above.
Discrimination by perception: This is a form of direct discrimination, and is when someone thinks you have a characteristic and treats you less favourably, regardless of whether you actually have that characteristic. For example if someone mistakenly thinks you are part of a religious group and treats you less favourably because of this, it would still be discrimination, even though you aren’t in that religious group.
Discrimination by association: This is also a form of direct discrimination, and is when someone treats you less favourably because you have an association with someone else who has a protected characteristic. For example, if you are treated differently because you have family members with disabilities, this is still direct discrimination against you.
Indirect discrimination: When a provision, criteria or practice is applied in the same way for everyone, but this has the effect of putting people sharing a protected characteristic at a disadvantage. It doesn’t matter if there was no intention to disadvantage that group. What matters is whether that action does disadvantage that group in some way. An example of this could be a dress-code or rules on appearance which might indirectly discriminate against individuals or groups of a particular religion, belief or gender.