Sexual orientation discrimination and gender reassignment discrimination are both illegal in the UK. They are listed as protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010. They arise when someone is unfairly disadvantaged for reasons related to their sexual orientation or because of being transgender.

This factsheet offers an overview of the different types of discrimination with examples of how they apply to sexual orientation and gender reassignment. It highlights the need for employers to take action and suggests good employment practices to ensure everyone has fair access and opportunity to progress in work, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Explore our viewpoint on sexual orientation, gender identity and reassignment in more detail, along with actions for government and recommendations for employers.

This factsheet was last updated by Lutfur Ali, Public Policy Advisor, Inclusion and Diversity, CIPD

Lutfur joined the CIPD in October 2021 and is also Non-Executive Director for the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) the professional body for business continuity and resilience experts. With a career spanning over three decades in the public, private and third sector, Lutfur has championed the delivery of social justice, equality, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and sustainability throughout his life. 

Inclusion at work: Perspectives on LGBT+
working lives

Our research highlights the key barriers and enablers to help people professionals improve LGBT+ workplace inclusion

Callout Image

Related content

CIPD Viewpoint
Race inclusion in the workplace

Explore the CIPD’s point of view on race inclusion in the workplace, including recommendations for employers

CIPD Viewpoint
Religion and belief

Explore the CIPD’s point of view on religion and belief, including actions for Government and recommendations for employers

Factsheets
Sex discrimination and employment

Explore the main issues employers face when dealing with sex discrimination in the workplace.

Topics
Discrimination resources

Explore our resources to gain informative insights into discrimination in the workplace.

Explore our other factsheets

Factsheets
Workforce reporting

Learn about defining, measuring and reporting human capital, and how HR can use human capital information to drive performance

Factsheets
Strategic reward and total reward

Outlines the main characteristics of strategic and total reward, and looks at designing and implementing a reward strategy across the organisation

Factsheets
Employee voice

This factsheet looks at employee voice, its purposes and use, and the benefits it can bring to an organisation and its workforce. It also covers whistleblowing and creating a speak-up culture

Factsheets
The psychological contract

This factsheet examines what the psychological contract is, why it's important and the strategic implications it has on the employment relationship

Factsheets