Any form of discrimination is never okay. If you or someone you know has been affected by discrimination, then we encourage you to report it and seek support.
Discrimination occurs when an individual or a group of people are treated less favourably than others based on a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics are:
  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment (gender identity)
  • marriage and civil partnership (in employment)
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • religion or belief (including non-beliefs)
  • sex 
  • sexual orientation 
There are several kinds of discrimination and we encourage you to review the information below to understand how the university defines these. 
Direct discrimination
This means treating someone less favourably than someone else because of a protected characteristic. In order for someone to show that they have been directly discriminated against, they must compare what has happened to them to the treatment of a person without their protected characteristic. 
A further education college rejects an applicant’s application to a childcare course as they do not think it is appropriate on the grounds of their gender identity, sex or sexual orientation to be working with children. This would be direct discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment (identity) , sex and or sexual orientation.
A university gives a student with dyslexia longer to complete their exam than other students. A non-disabled student asks for more time to complete their exam as they accidently missed a question, but this is rejected. This would not be direct discrimination. The student with a known disability was provided with reasonable adjustment for their disability. 
Discrimination based on association
This means treating someone less favourably than another person because they are associated with a person who has a protected characteristic (other than pregnancy and maternity). This might occur when someone treats a student or staff member less favourably because their sibling, parent, carer or friend has a protected characteristic.
Discrimination based on perception
This means treating one person less favourably than someone else because you incorrectly think they have a protected characteristic (other than pregnancy and maternity).
Discrimination because of pregnancy and maternity
It is discrimination to treat an individual less favourably because they are or have been pregnant, have given birth in the last 26 weeks or are breastfeeding a baby who is 26 weeks or younger. It is direct sex discrimination to treat an individual less favourably because they are breastfeeding a child who is more than 26 weeks old.
Indirect discrimination
Indirect discrimination occurs when you treat a group of people in the same way but this has the effect of putting those in the group with a protected characteristic at a disadvantage. It doesn't matter that you did not intend to disadvantage those with a particular protected characteristic.
Indirect discrimination applies to all the protected characteristics, other than pregnancy and maternity, although something that disadvantages students/colleagues who are pregnant or have just given birth may be indirect sex discrimination.
‘Disadvantage’ can take many different forms, such as denial of an opportunity or choice, deterrence, rejection or exclusion.

A group of students are told that for a work placement they will be required to work on a Saturday. One of the students is Jewish and as part of their religion, adheres to the Sabbath, which means they can't work on Saturdays. Even though this only affects one student, this would be considered indirect discrimination as they are at a disadvantage. 

There are two ways you can tell us what happened