Discrimination classifies people into different groups in which group members receive distinct and typically unequal treatments and rights without rational justification. Popular forms of discrimination include distinctions by gender, biological sex, sexual preference, race, skin color, religion, nationality, ethnicity, ability, age, socio-economic class, marital status, and body size.

Direct Discrimination: This is where a sector of the community is treated less favorably than others. For example, a job advertisement may state that men are only welcome to apply for a particular job vacancy, or black people are not selected for interview. Both of these example is an open indication of direct discrimination

Indirect Discrimination: This occurs when an institution places an unnecessary condition or requirement on a particular job to prevent certain members of the community from applying.  For example, placing height restrictions on a job which doesn't require height to perform; stipulating  that only people who can speak clear fluent English where the job does not require verbal communication. These examples can be seen as indirectly placing prejudicial conditions on a particular job.

There are four Acts which address discrimination in employment:

  • The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and 1986
  • The Equal Pay Act 1970 and 1984
  • The Race Relations Act 1976 and Race Relations Amendment Act 2000
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995




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