Have You Been Discriminated Against?

Sex discrimination is illegal in the UK. Sex discrimination is defined as the unfair treatment of someone based on the grounds of sex, whether they are a man or a woman. This unfair treatment then leads to someone being disadvantaged compared to someone of the opposite sex.

Sex discrimination can encompass treatment regarding sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital status or pregnancy and maternity leave.

This site is set out to outline the varying forms of discrimination that are alive and present in both our society today and the surrounding work place. Predominantly this site will be considering sex discrimination in the workplace as this affects the majority of people in the UK.

Sex discrimination can happen in the workplace and outside the workplace such as Christmas parties and social events. Sex discrimination can also arise in legislation and educational policies.

Sex Discrimination

The law is set out to protect against sex discrimination from happening and to punish anyone who is guilty of sex discrimination.

There are many different types of discrimination in the workplace. Sex discrimination is a form of discrimination based on the sex of an employee, co-worker or applicant, which is consequentially treated unfairly or differently from anyone else of the opposite sex. This unfairness is a seen as a disadvantage based solely on your gender or sex.

There are 4 main types of sex discrimination that can arise in the workplace:

We believe that it is wholly important that employers should ensure that their policies are up to date and appropriate to all staff regardless of their sex in all of the following areas:

  • Recruitment
  • Training
  • Pay
  • Promotion
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Discipline
  • Dismissal

The responsibility of any sex discrimination that arises in the work place is of the employer. This is even when a co-worker has been found to be discriminating. The employer will be vicariously liable, meaning that the employer is responsible for its employee’s actions and can be held accountable.

Sex discrimination cases can be brought before an employment tribunal or the High Court. In an employment tribunal your case will be heard and it will be for a judge to decide whether there has been discrimination or not.

Other areas where sex discrimination can arise:

Equal Pay

It has taken a long time to deal with and there is still a gap between women earning less than men for the same type of work. Sex discrimination law is designed to make sure everyone carrying out the same types of job is paid the same.

Equal pay is dealt with in its own legislation under the Equal Pay Act 1970 and ensures everyone carrying out the same type of work is paid the same.


Sex discrimination can also occur in education. Legislation is in place to make sure everyone receives equal and the correct education. This means all students must have access to the national curriculum. Sex discrimination also applies to the type of careers service that is available at schools. This also applies to the careers service must not discriminate between girls and boys.

It is still acceptable for restrictions on entry to singe sex schools in the UK. However, with other schools of mixed sex, it is discrimination to accept one particular gender over another just to make up the numbers if the is an unequal amount of girls to boys.


It is also common for sex discrimination to occur in advertising. It is possible for legal action to be taken against advertisers who use sex discrimination to their advantage. This can happen with the unfair treatment of a particular gender in advertising certain products.