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Equality Impact Assessment

The Protected Characteristics

Age -Where this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 32-year-olds) or range of ages (e.g. 18 - 30-year-olds). This includes all ages, including children and young people and older people.

Disability- A person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Gender reassignment -The process of transitioning from one gender to another.

Race -Refers to the protected characteristic of Race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.

Religion and belief -Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. Atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.

Marriage and civil partnership -Marriage is defined as a 'union between a man and a woman'. Same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships' and from 29th March 2014, same-sex couples can also get married at certain religious venues. Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters.

Pregnancy and maternity -Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant.

Maternity refers to the period of 26 weeks after the birth, which reflects the period of a woman's ordinary maternity leave entitlement in the employment context.

Sex (this was previously called 'gender') -A man or a woman.

Sexual orientation -Whether a person's sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes

You are also protected if you are discriminated against because you are perceivedto have, or are associatedwith someone who has, a protected characteristic. For example, the Equality Act will protect people who are caring for a disabled child or relative. They will be protected by virtue of their association to that person (e.g. if the carer is refused a service because of the person they are caring for, this would amount to discrimination by association and they would be protected under the Equality Act)

Other -Although not explicitly protected by law, there are some other groups of people who may experience discrimination or disadvantage and may be impacted by certain decisions made by the council. These groups can also be considered within an equality impact assessment. Examples include, but are not limited to:


Armed Forces (including veterans and families) People on low income

People living in rural areas

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