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Allington Primary School

Primary School

Protected Characteristics


Difference is protected under British law. This is set out in the Equality and this Act provides guidance for us all to live by.  As a public body, we are obliged to:

  • Have best endeavours to eliminate discrimination
  • Highlight equality of opportunity
  • Ensure that everyone's views are heard and treated with respect

The Equality Act became law in 2010. It covers everyone in Britain and protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Under the Equality Act, there are nine protected characteristics set out in law and these are explained in the table below. No one should face discrimination because of:



Where this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (for example, 

32-year-olds) or range of ages (for example, 18- to 30-yearolds). 



A person has a disability if she or he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. 


Race - including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin 


Refers to the protected characteristic of Race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins. 

Religion, belief or lack of religion/ belief 

Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (such as Atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition. 

Marriage or civil partnership 


Marriage is no longer restricted to a union between a man and a woman but now includes a marriage between a same-sex couple. Same-sex couples can 

also have their relationships legally recognised as ‘civil partnerships’. Civil partners must not be treated less favourably than married couples (except where permitted by the Equality Act). 




A man or a woman. 

Sexual orientation 



Whether a person’s sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes. 

Gender reassignment 


The process of transitioning from one gender to another. 

Pregnancy and maternity 

Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.