Creating a fairer Britain
Training is usually aimed at improving someone’s skills or knowledge or raising awareness of an issue, for example, of what equality law means for how workers behave towards one another.
Your employer can generally decide whether to offer training and, if they do offer it, who needs it. But if they do offer opportunities for training or development, they must do this without unlawful discrimination.
Use the list in avoiding direct and indirect discrimination to make sure you know what equality law says your employer must do to avoid unlawful discrimination.
Training and development opportunities can be delivered in-house or by external providers. They can happen face-to-face, online, in groups or one-to-one. They can include the following:
If your employer makes assumptions on the basis of your protected characteristics about your ability to take part in training or the benefits you will gain, this may lead to unlawful discrimination.
Your employer may need to offer training flexibly or to make changes to the timing, style and location of training to avoid unlawful discrimination, particularly indirect discrimination (if they cannot objectively justify what you are doing) or a failure to make reasonable adjustments.
Access to some opportunities, including training, may count as a benefit. This means they are treated in the same way as pay. You can read more about what this means in the Equality and Human Rights Commission guide: Your rights to equality at work: pay and benefits.
Your employer must not stop you doing training because you are pregnant, on maternity leave or due to take maternity leave, or on pregnancy- or maternity-related sickness absence.
It would almost certainly be unlawful sex discrimination to deny you training for a reason related to your pregnancy (or impending maternity leave).
Your employer cannot try to justify this by saying they are protecting you from a health and safety risk, unless a specific risk has been identified.