As specified in The Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful to treat someone unfairly because they are married or in a civil partnership. ACAS has just issued new guidance in relation to key points for the workplace to consider around discrimination, direct or indirect and victimisation. Here’s our summary of points to consider:
- Promotion should not be influenced by marital factors such as the need to be frequently away from home.
- Pay levels should not vary by sexual orientation or marital status
- Training opportunities should not discriminate. So, for example if a course is arranged but only for people who could travel and an alternative was not offered, this could give rise to discrimination.
- Redundancy cannot be dictated based on sexual orientation or marital status.
- Taking time off should not be approached differently based on marital status or sexual orientation, for example flexible working, parental leave or maternity/paternity leave.
- Benefits should not differ e.g if a gift is given for a marriage but not for a civil partnership
- Civil partnerships should attract the same protection as married couples.
- Employees should not be treated differently after they are married or form a civil partnership. You should be specifically aware of this if they both work at the same organisation.
- Samesex marriages and civil partnerships should be referenced in policy wording in the same way marriage is.
Please read the full ACAS guidance for further information. You may also be interested in attending our briefing session for managing disciplinary issues on 24th November or our training session on managing grievances for 1st December.