The Equality Act - Your Rights

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are protected by law against discrimination. The Equality Act 2010 covers nine 'protected characteristics', which cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly.  Amongst those nine protected characteristics are sexual orientation and gender reassignment. The Equality Act sets out the ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone, such as direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation. 

If you identify as transsexual or transgender, the law could help you if:

  • you've changed your sex
  • you're in the process of changing your sex
  • you have simply told someone that you are planning to change your sex

Under the Equality Act, you are protected from direct discrimination and harassment. You cannot be discriminated against or harassed:

  • because you’ve started the process of changing your sex
  • because you are associated with someone who is transsexual (for example, if you are their partner)
  • because someone thinks you are transsexual, even if you aren’t

In addition, you’ll also be protected from indirect discrimination.  This is where a rule, policy or practice particularly disadvantages trans people and cannot be justified. 

For more information, see the ACAS (gender re-assignment) website.

In many cases bullying, harassment and victimisation because of your sexual orientation and/or gender identity is against the law and will be classified as a Hate Crime.

Does the University gather and monitor information on its students' sexual orientation?

Yes, from October 2013, new students have been asked for information on their sexual orientation. This will enable the university to analyse feedback from LGB students for the first time. Of course this information will be kept confidential and secure.  However, if you are not sure how you feel about disclosing such personal information about yourself, this Stonewall guide, What's it got to do with you? is here to help explain why it is so helpful for you to do so. Remember, they’re not being nosy – the information might help to make your experience at university a better one.  Data collected by the university or your employers should never be used to discriminate against you.


Last modified: 
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 12:16