Note that these concepts all apply equally to discrimination against male workers (except of course pregnancy discrimination).

Direct discrimination

Less favourable treatment of a woman for a reason relating to her pregnancy or maternity leave; in pregnancy/maternity claims there is no need to show less favourable treatment than a man (s18 EqA).

Less favourable treatment of a woman than a man on the ground of her (or his) sex (s13 EqA)

Indirect discriminationThis occurs where there is a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) which applies to both women and men, which particularly disadvantages women (compared to men), puts the woman at a disadvantage and which the employer cannot show is justified.  An example is a refusal to allow a woman to work part-time, because women tend to bear more of the responsibility for childcare than men. (s19 EqA)
Harassment    Harassment is where there is unwanted conduct, related to sex or of a sexual nature, which violates the woman’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. (s26 EqA)
VictimisationThis occurs where a worker (or ex worker) is treated less favourably because she has brought proceedings, complained of discrimination or provided assistance to those who have complained. (s27 EqA)


Claimant  The person making the claim.
RespondentThe employer against whom the claim is made
ACASThe role of ACAS is to try and conciliate between the parties to reach agreement
ET1   This is the form on which a complaint to the Employment Tribunal must be made
ET3This is the form on which the employer must respond to a complaint.
Questionnaire For acts of discrimination which took place before 6 April 2014, a person alleging discrimination can send to her employer a questionnaire which sets out the alleged discrimination and questions about why the employer behaved in the way it did. The aim is to find out whether there has been any discrimination and what type, and also to gather evidence to help prove the claim. Failure to respond properly may lead to a tribunal inferring that there has been discrimination.
Schedule of lossThis is a document on which a claimant sets out her loss arising out of the discrimination, such as loss of earnings and benefits.
Discovery or DisclosureThis is the process by which both parties exchange any relevant documents that they have. Usually, the parties make a list of the documents and then exchange them (known as inspection).
Settlement agreementThis is a document to settle an employment dispute between the parties. It usually sets out all the terms of the settlement and must be signed by both parties. It is only valid if it complies with specified conditions, one of which is that the claimant has been advised by a solicitor or approved adviser.
COT3 This is an agreement to settle an employment dispute which is drawn up by ACAS.
Dismissal   This includes three situations: where the employer dismisses the employee; where a fixed term contract expires and is not renewed on the same terms; or where an employee resigns, without delay,  in response to a fundamental breach of contract by the employer (known as constructive dismissal).


EqAThe Equality Act 2010
ERA  The Employment Rights Act 1996
MPLThe Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999

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