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Think that equality discrimination only applies to employers? Think again...

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Are you aware that the Equality Act affects you if you sell goods or deliver services to the public? Your company should offer fair prices and services to all of its customers. A service provider is prohibited from discriminating against a person with a protected characteristic, this includes the quality of the goods or service and the manner in which the good or service is supplied.

Age, disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation are all protected characteristics.

In an amendment to the Equality Act 2010 made in December 2012 it was stated that providers of insurance and related financial services may not discriminate on the grounds of sex in the prices and benefits offered to consumers.

This legislation affects businesses not only in face to face dealings with the public, but also during telephone sales and online sales and services. As a business you need to know if you are a service provider and you need to understand about protected characteristics to be sure that you are complying with this legislation. As a consumer you should be aware of this protection if you fall into the category of having a protected characteristic.

If you own a business and would like to ensure you are providing a fair and equal service please contact a member of our specialist Employment Team.