The below information is taken from the Citizens Advice Bureau and more information can be found at Discrimination – Citizens Advice

What is Discrimination?

Discrimination means treating you unfairly because of who you are. The Equality Act 2010 in the U.K. protects you from discrimination by:

  • employers
  • businesses and organisations which provide goods or services like banks, shops and utility companies
  • health and care providers like hospitals and care homes
  • someone you rent or buy a property from like housing associations and estate agents
  • schools, colleges and other education providers
  • transport services like buses, trains and taxis
  • public bodies like government departments and local authorities.

There are nine protected characteristics in the Equality Act. Discrimination which happens because of one or more of these characteristics is unlawful under the Act. We all have some of these characteristics – for example, sex or age – so the Act protects everyone from discrimination.

If you’re treated unfairly because someone thinks you belong to a group of people with protected characteristics, this is also unlawful discrimination.

What are the protected characteristics?

The characteristics that are protected by the Equality Act 2010 are:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage or civil partnership (in employment only)
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

What is race discrimination

Race discrimination is when you are treated unfairly because of your race, or because of the race of someone you are connected with, such as your partner.

Race includes Colour, nationality, citizenship and ethnic or national origins

If race discrimination takes place in any of the following situations it is illegal and you may be able to take action about it:

  • employment and training
  • education
  • when providing goods and services, for example, banking, entertainment and transport
  • housing
  • any of the activities carried out by public authorities, such as the NHS, government departments, local authorities, the police and prisons

Race discrimination can be direct or indirect. It may also take the form of harassment or victimisation.

Race discrimination does not need to be deliberate. Someone may be discriminating against you without realising it or meaning to, but this might still count as discrimination.

Direct race discrimination

It is direct race discrimination to treat someone less favorably than someone else would be treated in the same circumstances, because of race. To prove direct race discrimination, it will help if you can give an example of someone from a different racial group who, in similar circumstances, has been, or would have been, treated more favorably than you. Racist abuse and harassment are forms of direct discrimination

Indirect race discrimination

It is indirect race discrimination to have a rule, policy or practice which people of a particular racial, ethnic or national group are less likely to be able to meet than other people, and this places them at a disadvantage.

Some useful sites on Racism that are worth looking at:

Show Racism the Red Card: Show Racism the Red Card

For more information on Discrimination, please see our resource section on this site