Discrimination means treating a person unfairly because of who they are or because they possess certain characteristics.  The Equality Act 2010 highlights 9 protected characteristics: Age, Gender, Race, Disability, Religion, Pregnancy and maternity, Sexual orientation, Gender reassignment, Marriage and civil partnership.

Discrimination that occurs because of one or more of the protected characteristics is unlawful under the Equality Act. As every person has at least some of these characteristics such as age, race or gender, the Act protects every person from being discriminated against.  If you are treated unfavourably because someone thinks you belong to a particular group of people with protected characteristics, this is also unlawful discrimination.