Melton Borough Council

Protected Characteristics

Marriage and Civil Partnership

Marriage and Civil Partnership and the law

The Equality Act of 2010 protects a person (employees and customers) who are in a civil partnership or marriage, against discrimination.

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to:

  • Discriminate directly against anyone and/or to treat them less favourably than another person because they are either in a civil partnership or marriage.
  • Discriminate indirectly by applying a criterion, provision or practice which disadvantages people who are in a civil partnership or marriage, unless it can be objectively justified.

Civil partners have equal treatment to married couples in respect of employment rights and benefits and can apply for parental responsibility of a civil partner’s child.

Civil partners enjoy the same legal rights as all parents. Civil partners, who meet the relevant qualifying conditions, are entitled to the following:

  • Ordinary Maternity Leave, Additional Maternity Leave and Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Ordinary Adoption Leave, Additional Adoption Leave and Statutory Adoption Pay
  • Statutory Paternity Leave and Statutory Paternity Pay
  • Parental Leave
  • Time Off for Dependents
  • Right to request flexible working
  • Time off for antenatal care

Employers are not obliged to extend these benefits to single people, or to people who are engaged to be married, is divorced or has had a civil partnership dissolved. However, if benefits are made available to unmarried couples of the opposite sex they must be offered equally to same sex couples who have not registered a civil partnership.