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DEI Hub: Marriage and civil partnerships



Diversity, equity & inclusion: marriage and civil partnerships

The Equality Act says you must not be discriminated against in employment because you are married or in a civil partnership.

marriageIn the Equality Act marriage and civil partnership means someone who is legally married or in a civil partnership. Marriage can either be between a man and a woman, or between partners of the same sex. Civil partnership is between partners of the same sex.

It does not have include those who are:

  • single
  • living with someone as a couple neither married nor civil partners
  • engaged to be married but not married
  • divorced or a person whose civil partnership has been dissolved




Marriage and civil partnership discrimination


Marriage and civil partnership is a "protected characteristic" under the Equality Act 2010 and means being married or being a civil partner. As well as being liable for its own actions, there are circumstances in which an employer will be liable for the acts of others.

Read more here

Marriage and Civil Partnership Discrimination


Direct marriage and civil partnership discrimination occurs where because of your marriage and civil partnership, you are treated less favourably than a person who is not married or a civil partner.

Less favourable treatment means a detriment of a kind that a reasonable person would or might take the view that in all the circumstances you have been disadvantaged.  An unjustified sense of grievance cannot amount to a detriment.  It is not necessary to demonstrate some physical or economic consequence.

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case studies

For better or for worse - marriage and civil partnership discrimination


In the recent case of Gould v. St John’s Downshire Hill UKEAT/0002/20/BA, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that dismissing a minister because his marriage had broken down could amount to marriage discrimination.

Read more here

All resources have been recommended by AEO. AEV and ESSA members.  If you have a suggestion for additional DEI resources please let us know.  SUBMIT A RESOURCE


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