Melton Borough Council

Protected Characteristics


Sex and the law

Sex is a “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010.

The Equality Act 2010 provides rights for men and women not to be discriminated against or treated less favourably, harassed or victimised on the grounds of their sex (gender).

Unlawful sex discrimination happens when someone is treated unfairly because of their gender. Women, men and transsexual people can all experience sex discrimination. Sex discrimination also includes treating someone less favourably because they are married or in a civil partnership: for example, by not hiring married women.

In very limited circumstances, there are some jobs which can require that the employee is of a particular sex (gender). This is known as an 'occupational requirement'. One example is where the employee is required to provide personal care or work in a women’s shelter and these services can most effectively be provided by a person of a particular sex (gender) because of individual needs and sensitivities.

Sex useful contacts and links

Opportunity Now A 'Business in the Community' programme dealing with gender issues and development of women at work.

Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The EHRC champions equality and human rights for all, working to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society.

Beaumont Society is a national self help body run by and for those who cross-dress or are trans-sexual.

The Gender Trust is an organisation which runs a helpline that is dedicated to supporting anyone affected by gender identity issues.

Gender Identity Research and Education Society Promotes and communicates research and provides information and education to those who can improve the lives of people affected by gender identity and intersex conditions.

Mermaids UK Supports and provides information for children and teenagers who are trying to cope with gender identity issues, and for their families and carers.

Leicester LGBT Centre is a voluntary organisation established to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicester Chameleons  Male–to-Female (MtF) support group based in Leicester.

Fawcett Society is UK’s leading campaign for equality between men and women.