Discrimination in Employment - Introduction

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. (Equality Commission for Northern Ireland)

For further information and advice, and answers to some frequently asked questions about the legislation,  visit the Employment Equality Regulations 2003 pages (see link on the left).

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