Sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status discrimination

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Indirect discrimination can be less obvious. It can happen when employers or service providers put in place conditions, requirements or practices which appear to treat everyone the same but which actually disadvantage some people because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status or marital or relationship status. If the condition or requirement is unreasonable, it could be unlawful discrimination.

For example, a company policy that offers benefits to an employee’s husband or wife, such as discounted travel or gym membership, may disadvantage employees with a same-sex partner because of their sexual orientation and/or relationship status.

It may be indirect gender identity discrimination if an organisation’s human resources policies do not permit changes to an employee’s records. Such a policy may require a transgender woman to continually disclose information about her gender identity in order to explain discrepancies in personal details.

A policy that says that certain medical treatments, such as treatment for ovarian cancer, is only appropriate for women may disadvantage an intersex man who has male and female sex characteristics.

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