Marriage and civil partnership discrimination

Fiona Cuming

Editor's message: The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination in the workplace because of an employee's marriage or civil partnership status.

The protection applies only to those who are married or in a civil partnership. It does not protect single people, nor those who are divorced or whose civil partnership has been dissolved.

While fewer claims on this ground are brought compared with the other protected characteristics, employers should ensure that terms and conditions, including contractual benefits, do not disadvantage workers because they are married or in a civil partnership.

Employers should also take care that they do not exclude workers from job opportunities or training based on assumptions that, because they are married or a civil partner, they would be less willing to travel or to work longer hours than a single person.

Fiona Cuming, employment law editor

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HR and legal information and guidance relating to marriage and civil partnership discrimination.