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Martin Searle Solicitors

Employee Sexual Orientation Discrimination Advice

Martin Searle Solicitors Employment Law Team


“There were times when I wanted to give up, but Martin Searle Solicitors remained determined to see justice done. Their skilful handling and firm but fair approach secured a very satisfactory settlement of my sexual orientation discrimination case.”
Andrew, Sexual Orientation Discrimination Client

Making Sense of the Law on sexual orientation discrimination for employees

The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 prohibited discrimination at work due to sexual orientation. Since October 2010 sexual orientation and gay discrimination at work have been covered by the Equality Act. The legislation protects lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and heterosexuals from discrimination as a result of their sexual orientation.

The law also protects people who are correctly or incorrectly assumed to have a particular sexual orientation.

If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination based on your sexual orientation, it is important that you discuss your situation with a specialist sexual orientation discrimination lawyer.

Types of sexual orientation discrimination at work

Direct discrimination

Direct discrimination is where someone is treated less favourably due to their (perceived) sexual orientation or the sexual orientation of people they associate with such as family or friends.

Indirect discrimination

Indirect discrimination is where a criteria, provision or practice disadvantages people of a particular sexual orientation, and the individual concerned, unless the practice can be objectively justified. The legislation defines justifiable as where an action is a proportional means of achieving a legitimate aim.


Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. There is no defence of justification in respect of harassment and it is unlawful whether it is intentional or not.


Victimisation is where someone is treated less favourably because they have made, or intend to make, a complaint or allegation. Also where they give or intend to give evidence in relation to a complaint of sexual orientation discrimination at work.

How we help employees challenge sexual orientation discrimination at work

If you believe you have been discriminated against under the Equality Act we can help. Our discrimination law solicitors help employees, agency workers and applicants tackle cases of gay and sexual orientation discrimination. Where your case cannot be resolved we can also represent you at an Employment Tribunal.

Contact us today on 01273 609911, or email info@ms-solicitors.co.uk.

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