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Types of discrimination


The Acts set out four different types of discrimination which are prohibited:

  • direct: Where a person is treated less favourably than another person is, or would be, treated in a comparable situation
  • indirect: Where an apparently neutral provision puts a person or a group of persons with a particular characteristic which is protected by the Acts at a particular disadvantage when compared with other employees of the employer
  • victimisation: Where dismissal or other adverse treatment of an employee occurs as a reaction to the employee availing themselves of their rights under the Acts
  • harassment and sexual harassment: Harassment is any form of unwanted conduct related to any of the nine discriminatory grounds, being conduct which in either case has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. A code of practice exists on this type of discrimination, setting out best practice for employers.