Law Society of Scotland
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What are the protected characteristics?

The protected characteristics

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

Each area has different legislative foundations, but all are combined into the Equality Act 2010.

It should also be noted that 'equal opportunities' is defined by the Scotland Act 1998 as:

"…the prevention, elimination or regulation of discrimination between persons on grounds of sex or marital status, on racial grounds, or on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation, language or social origin, or of other personal attributes, including beliefs or opinions, such as religious beliefs or political opinions."

This is a slightly wider definition and has to be considered in interpreting legislation originating in the Scottish Parliament.

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