Melton Borough Council

Protected Characteristics

Sexual orientation and the law

Under the Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful to discriminate against employees or customers because of their sexual orientation.

Sexual orientation means a person’s sexual orientation towards

  • a persons of the same sex (lesbians and gay men)
  • a persons of the opposite sex (heterosexual) or
  • a persons of either sex (bisexual)

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to:

  • Discriminate directly against anyone and/or  to treat them less favourably than others because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation;
  • Discriminate indirectly by applying a criterion, provision or practice which disadvantages people of a particular sexual orientation, unless it can be objectively justified;
  • Subject someone to harassment which is unwanted conduct that violates a person's dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment;
  • Victimise someone because they have made or intend to make a complaint or allegation in relation to a complaint of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Sexual Orientation useful contacts and links:

ACAS aim to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations.

Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS), gives tailored advice on discrimination issues to individuals across Britain. It explains legal rights and remedies, options for informal resolution and refers people who cannot or do not wish to go down this road to conciliation or mediation services.

Equality and Human Rights Commission: 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.

Leicester LGBT Centre support the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans community in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Stonewall  working for equality and justice for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals.

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation  campaign for a fair and equal society where all lesbian, gay and bisexual people can achieve their full potential.