The Equality Act 2010 sets out nine protected characteristics which, taken together, include everybody in the country. We all share some or all of these characteristics and it is an offence to use any of them as an excuse to treat people unfairly. The council and other public bodies must take these into account when taking decisions, and under the Act has a responsibility to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
The protected characteristics are:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Race, including ethnic or national origins, colour, or nationality
- Religion or belief , including the lack thereof.
- Sexual orientation