Protected characteristics

Crowd of people

These pages provide an overview of key policy, legislation, statistics and highlights from qualitative research for each of the nine protected characteristics. The pages are continually being updated with practice guidance, further evidence and case studies.

People are not defined by any singular characteristic. Social determinants such as ethnicity, gender, disability, and sexual orientation combine and intersect to affect health and wellbeing, often varying across the life-course. 

A narrow focus on one aspect of an individual´s or a group´s identity may therefore work to the detriment of understanding and responding to the reality of their lives and experiences.




Gender reassignment

Marriage and civil partnership

Pregnancy and maternity

Race and ethnicity

Religion and belief

Sexual orientation

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