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Equality North East

Legal Opinion: Association and perception under the Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 came into force on 1 October 2010, introducing new rules relating to discrimination by association and perception.

Discrimination by association refers to the situation where an individual is discriminated against because of the characteristic of another person, namely someone with whom they are associated. For example, discrimination by association would cover the situation where an employee is dismissed because of his or her partner's religious beliefs even if the employee does not share those beliefs. Discrimination by perception is discrimination against someone because he or she is wrongly perceived to have a certain protected characteristic, for example where an employer believes an employee is gay, or is of a particular race, and treats him or her less favourably as a result. This would be unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

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October 25, 2010

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