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Guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission


Equality in Recruitment is supported by the Equality Act 2010 which replaces all of the previous Discrimination Acts, including Race, Sex and Disability.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is set up to guide employers and support individuals to ensure that all people are treated fairly in the UK. They have a section on their website with guidance on the Equality Act for employers.

The Equality Act 2010 underpins EHRC guidance and is there to protect people who may be treated differently because of their circumstances, background, culture or disability. There are nine ‘protected characteristics’ or ‘protected groups’ in total and they are:

  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Maternity and Pregnancy
  • Race
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership
  • Religion or Belief

There is also guidance for employers and for individuals about discrimination based on socio-economic background with specific duties applying to the public sector and their suppliers.

Candidates applying for a job are protected by the Equality Act in the same way that someone who is currently employed. If you feel that you’ve been discriminated against during a recruitment process, the EHRC website is a good place to look for guidance and advice. The site will direct you to sources of assistance and tell you about your rights. There are sections specific to each of the protected characteristics above and there are details of how the law protects you as an individual.

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