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Age discrimination legislation
Business Case for Diversity
pdf (188Kb)

Sexual orientation flyer
pdf (43Kb)

Religion or belief flyer
pdf (43Kb)

Out-tray poster pdf (59Kb)
Paint poster pdf (51Kb)
Pen poster pdf (43Kb)
Tyre poster pdf (59Kb)

Equal Opportunities is Your Business Too: good practice for small firms pdf (394Kb)
Good practice for small firms in Scotland pdf (391Kb)
Good practice for small firms in Wales pdf (393Kb)




Discrimination at work

Unfair discrimination in employment is wrong.  It is bad for the individuals who are denied jobs and access to vocational training, who suffer victimisation or harassment, because of prejudice.  It is bad for the businesses which are denying themselves access to the widest pool of talent and not sharing in the benefits - such as increased motivation, lower turnover of staff and access to wider markets - that a diverse workforce and effective equality policies can bring.

The introduction of legislation - The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 - was a major step forward in tackling unfair discrimination in the UK.  The Regulations implement strands of the European Employment Directive (Council Directive 2000/78/EC).

Northern Ireland has separate legislation implementing the Directive. Click here for more information about the Northern Ireland legislation.

Click here for more information about the Employment Equality Regulations 2003. This section offers answers to some frequently asked questions about the legislation and where to go for more information and advice.

We have made amendments to the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 to take account of the introduction of the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

Capacity Building 2004/05 - supporting activity to raise awareness and understanding of Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation, Religion or Belief) Regulations

The Government recognises that intermediary organisations (employers' bodies, unions, voluntary and community bodies) play an important role in supporting the practical application of new legislation. In 2003-04 we gave 625,000 to a range of such organisations so they could offer advice on sexual orientation and religion or belief employment issues.

We built on this work in 2004-05; offering 1.4 million in grants to organisations from across the UK. Projects supported are using
a wide range of initiatives from seminars and roadshows to guides and leaflets to help businesses and individuals understand their new rights and responsibilities under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation and Religion or Belief) Regulations. We hope that the 2004/05 projects have helped develop some longer-term capacity in the newer legislative areas, before the Commission on Equality and Human Rights comes into operation.

Click here for details of funding 2005/07

Click here for further information on this 2004/05 projects


Click here from information on projects funded in 2003/04


Equality and Diversity: The European Context

The UK Government played an active role in negotiating two European Directives on equality. Their impact will be significant in tackling discrimination across the EU.

The Employment Directive outlaws discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability and age in employment and vocational training. New legislation - The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 - came into force in December 2003. Amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 came into force in October 2004 and new legislation outlawing discrimination on grounds of age by the end of 2006.

The Race Directive outlaws discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin in the areas of employment, vocational training, goods and services, social protection, education and housing. Changes to the Race Relations Act 1976 to implement the Directive came into force in July 2003.    

Click here for more information about the EU's approach to making changes to equality legislation in the workplace.



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Last updated 2 December 2005