Sexual discrimination

Chalk Drawing Figures Of Man And Woman On A Blackboard

What is sexual discrimination?

You are the victim of sex discrimination when someone discriminates against you because of your sex (male or female). The discrimination can be in the following ways:

  1. direct discrimination, where you are treated less favourably because of your sex compared to the opposite sex
  2. indirect discrimination, where you are unable to comply with certain rules, policies or practices because of your sex and so are placed at a disadvantage compared to the opposite sex
  3. harassment, where someone behaves in an offensive manner or encourages or allows other people to do so
  4. victimisation, where you are treated unfairly for complaining about discrimination

Sex discrimination at work can take place in many ways, including promotion, pay, hiring, layoffs or dismissals, using workplace benefits, irrelevant job requirements which have the effect of excluding a certain sex and not providing the same training opportunities as the other gender.

Sex discrimination does not include marital status, pregnancy or parental status, gender reassignment or sexual orientation, which are all separate forms of discrimination.

What can I do if I have been sexually discriminated against?

If you are the victim of sex discrimination, you can talk to the person or organisation discriminating against you and if necessary, write a complaint letter. Alternatively, you could ask someone else, like a colleague, union representative or legal advisor, to help you.

If that does not work, then as a last resort you can make a claim in a court or tribunal depending on where the discrimination is taking place or took place. If you are taking legal action because of discrimination at work, you might be able to take your claim to an employment tribunal for discrimination. 

What will happen to my job if I report being sexually discriminated against within the workplace?

Your job should not be affected because you have made a complaint about being sexually discriminated. If you are being treated unfairly because you have made a complaint, this would be classified as another form of discrimination, which is victimisation.

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