Equality & Discrimination
Inverness Citizen’s Advice Bureau; with funding from the Scottish Government commenced an Equality project in May 2012 which shall run for a period of approximately 3 years; the aim of the project is to help reduce Inequality and Disadvantage in the Highland Region. We have a dedicated Equality Casework Officer who is able to give specialist advice, information and representation in respect of Welfare, Housing, Employment and Immigration matters.
To date the Equality Project has assisted a number of Clients in respect of appeals for Tax Credits; Income Support; Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. In addition; many cases have been brought to Employment Tribunal for issues such as Unfair Dismissal, Automatic Unfair Dismissal, Discrimination, Victimisation, Harassment, Illegal Deductions, Health and Safety and TUPE.
The characteristics that are protected by the Equality Act 2010 are:•
gender identity and gender reassignment
marriage or civil partnership (in employment only)
pregnancy and maternity
religion or belief
If you have one or more of these protected characteristics, it is also now against the law to treat you the same as everyone else if this treatment will put you at a disadvantage.
The Equality Act 2010 covers you at work and when you use services, such as shops, hotels or gyms, hospitals or other free services.
The Equality Act makes it clear that a woman can't be treated worse than other people for breast-feeding her baby in public places like cafes, shops and buses. For example; a bus driver couldn't ask a woman to get off the bus just because she's breast-feeding her baby.
It is also against the law to treat carers less favourably, or harass them because the person they are caring for has a protected characteristic. For example, if an employer is usually open to flexible working from parents, but refuses to agree to requests from parents of disabled children, this is discrimination
Equality Information: Equality Act (2010)
The Equality Act 2010 makes your rights not to be discriminated against stronger. Discrimination means treating someone worse than other people because of who they are. The groups of people who have the right not be discriminated against have also been extended. People who belong to these groups have what are called protected characteristics.
It doesn't matter whether any of these characteristics apply to you, or the people in your life. If you are treated worse because someone thinks you belong to a group of people with protected characteristics, this is discrimination.
The Act now also protects you if people in your life, such as family members, friends or co-workers have a protected characteristic and you are treated less favourably because of that. For example, you are discriminated against because your son is gay.
If you, or someone you know has an employment issue we can provide advice and information. Just use our drop-in service to be seen by a general adviser. In more complex cases you may be referred to our experienced Employment Adviser
Employment information can also be found on the Citizens Advice Scotland website and/or on the ACAS website