There are nine characteristics outlined in the Equality Act 2010 which are:

  1. Age
  2. Gender
  3. Race
  4. Disability
  5. Religion or belief
  6. Sexual orientation
  7. Gender reassignment
  8. Marriage or civil partnerships
  9. Pregnancy and maternity

At WVA students learn about the Protected Characteristics and non-discrimination in their PSHE lessons and assemblies.

The Diversity Student Voice group meet regularly to explore how the Protected Characteristics are supported at WVA across the curriculum and in daily life.


Age discrimination is treating an employee less favourably because of their age and can affect other employees of a similar age.
Examples of age discrimination include:


This protected characteristic aims to prevent discrimination against an employee based on their gender. Examples of gender discrimination include:


The Equality Act 2010 protects individuals from discrimination on the grounds of their nationality or race. Some examples of race discrimination include:


The Equality Act 2010 states that employees who have long-term mental or physical impairments that affect their day-to-day activities are protected under the protected characteristic of disability. Examples include Autism, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, and Cerebral Palsy to name a few.

As an employer, you have a duty of care to make reasonable adjustments for your disabled employees so they can carry out their job effectively.


This protected characteristic applies to individuals who have a genuine belief in a clear religious structure like Christianity, Judaism, or Islam.
Some examples of discriminating against an employee’s religion include:


 Sexual orientation or ‘sexuality’ refers to the gender an individual is attracted to. Different types of sexual orientation include:

As with the other characteristics, sexual orientation discrimination can take many forms. Examples include:


Gender reassignment is changing from one gender to another, and the Equality Act (2010) states you can’t treat an employee less favourably because they are trans or are associated with someone who is.
This also protects employees who have changed genders without undergoing any medical procedures.


 Marriage or civil partnership discrimination is treating employee less favourably because of their marital status. Employees who are divorced, engaged but not married yet, or just co-habiting do not fall under this protected characteristic.
Some examples of marriage or civil partnership discrimination include:


The Equality Act 2010 states that you can’t treat an employee less favourably because of their pregnancy or maternity status. This applies from the beginning of the pregnancy up to when the employee returns from maternity leave and a few examples of this discrimination include:


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