Sex discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 bans employers from committing direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation against individuals because of their sex. However, employers can justify indirect sex discrimination to achieve a legitimate aim through proportionate means.

Prior to the implementation of the Equality Act 2010 on 1 October 2010, discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment and marriage and civil partnership was set out in the now repealed Sex Discrimination Act 1975. However, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment and marriage and civil partnership all exist as protected characteristics in their own right under the Equality Act 2010.


Senior solicitor groped his secretary and told racist jokes

A solicitor who ran through the offices of his employer with a pretend Ku Klux Klan hood has been found guilty of sexual harassment and racist behaviour.

employment law july 2019

Want to help working mothers? Focus on paternity

21 Oct 2020

What stereotypes need to be broken down before working mothers can achieve a level playing field?

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Ten years of the Equality Act 2010: key cases for employers

1 Oct 2020

Ten years ago, the Equality Act 2010 consolidated discrimination laws into a single piece of legislation. We highlight 10 key...

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Security guard called ‘honey’ by manager wins £10k in sex discrimination case

24 Sep 2020

The worker was repeatedly called ‘honey’ by her manager, had her hours reduced and was denied the ability to take paid holiday.

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First female chief executive for a Wall St bank chosen

11 Sep 2020

Citigroup has named Scotland-born Jane Fraser as its new chief executive.

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BP fuels diversity and inclusion drive

27 Aug 2020

BP aims to report its ethnicity pay gap by 2022 as it looks to be guided by 'meritocracy, inclusivity and fairness'.

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UK banks increase number of female board members

18 Aug 2020

The proportion of women employed on the boards of banks in the UK has risen 9% since 2015, compared with a 2% increase in Europe.

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‘Old boys’ network’: Sales exec wins sexism case against tech firm Splunk

12 Aug 2020

A sales executive who earned more than £700,000 per year has won her claim for sex discrimination at an employment...

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Firms rush to boost diversity but some over-rely on training

4 Aug 2020

Experts report a surge of companies looking to improve D&I – but some see training as a 'silver bullet' while others' motivations are questionable.

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Contractor loses sexual discrimination case against HSBC

30 Jul 2020

A worker who claimed she was forced out of her role at HSBC after having an affair with a superior...

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gender split in boardroom

Lack of women in top roles sees leading firms miss out on profits

27 Jul 2020

FTSE 350 companies are missing out on sizeable profits through a failure to appoint more women to key executive roles.

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Bias behind failure to select women for FTSE boards revealed

3 Jul 2020

Flawed selection procedures and entrenched bias are combining to minimise the numbers of women on FTSE company boards...

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Senior female executive who refused to socialise with male team loses sex discrimination claim

1 Jul 2020

Fellow workers claimed she was “dictatorial” and lacked respect for colleagues.

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Financial whistleblower wins £75k payout in sex discrimination case

25 Jun 2020

Female compliance worker been subjected to sex discrimination after raising concerns about potential financial malpractice.

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US Supreme Court hands down landmark ruling for LGBT workers’ rights

16 Jun 2020

The US Supreme Court has ruled that it is unlawful for employers to dismiss workers because of their sexual orientation...

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