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Marriage and Civil Partnership

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What is marital status discrimination?

As its name suggests, marital status discrimination is workplace discrimination based on an employee’s marital status. It can occur whether you are married or single.

The unlawful discrimination arises when an employer makes employment decisions based on this status. Conduct may include the denial of employment, employment opportunities or promotions, harassment, unequal pay and/or other negative actions.

Civil unions (or domestic partnerships) provide greater legal protection in the event of a relationship breakdown or death than the legal protection given to cohabiting couples.

Here’s more information on the rights and obligations of couples in different EU countries from the Your Europe website.

We also have information on illegal discrimination and protected groups from the European Commission – this includes discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.

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