Direct Discrimination Definition and Examples

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 22:47 -- Umair Khan

Direct Discrimination Definition

If you have been treated unfairly by someone on the basis of who you are, it will be called direct discrimination. It is the form of unfair treatment in which someone is treated less favourably because of his age, gender reassignment, marriage, disability, race, gender, religion, belief, or sexual orientation. It does not matter if the person is treating you with discrimination intentionally or unintentionally, if it falls under this definition then you are being the victim of direction discrimination.

Examples of Direct Discrimination

Here is the example of direct discrimination on the basis of less favourable treatment. In this situation, you are being treated in a different way because of some protected characteristics. Suppose you are a saleswoman and you told your employer that you want to live your remaining life as a man. Just because you expressed your thoughts, if your employer assigns you a tough job, this case would be the case of gender reassignment as your employer is treating you less favorably because of your desire of changing your gender. According to the direct discrimination law, your employer has to compensate you by either increasing your salary or job status.

Another example here explains is age discrimination. GP practices usually give free flu jobs to individuals who are above 65. They are not given to people below this age because older people are vulnerable to flu and they are affected by the virus more than other individuals. This shows people are being treated differently because of their age.

Consider yourself as a heterosexual. In case the estate agent refuses to give you a flat on rent just because you are a gay, then this will be called discrimination on the basis of sexual origin and it is a protected characteristics according to Equality Act 2015.

There are plenty of similar cases on direct discrimination that are being presented on a daily basis. The law provides compensation to these individuals so that they can live as respected citizens within their communities. Discrimination has side effects more than just low self-esteem. Therefore, it has to be treated with the help of law time after time.  

What’s meant by less favourable treatment?

Favourable treatment is the situation in which an employee does not receive benefits or conditions which are granted to other employees. Example would be when fixed term employees are not given bonus but the permanent employees are.

When is it lawful to treat someone less favourably?

It is unlawful to treat someone less favourably due to some protected characteristics which include age, disability, marriage, race, civil partnership, gender, religion, belief or gender reassignment.

It is important to assure that everyone is protected from direct and indirect discrimination. It is recommended to avoid discrimination in the first place and we as responsible citizens have to take of treating others more favorably and less favorably on the basis of the protected characteristics and social perceptions. All you have to consider is not take decisions because of the protected characteristics of a person. Even if you don’t mean it and the other person feels he/she has been discriminated, they have every right to take legal action against you. If you get in trouble due to this, you are required to make an adjustment. In case the dissemination happened in workplace, you will have to make adjustments by offering a better salary or any other compensation.

The rights of people with protected characteristics are quite sensitive, therefore, you have to be sure that you should be as careful as you can in terms of treating others in a favourable way.