Avoiding unlawful discrimination when you make a decision relating to workers’ time off

 You must avoid unlawful discrimination when you make a decision about a worker’s time off. Decisions about time off might range from who takes their holiday when to how you record worker’s absences.

Visit the Core guidance to make sure you know what equality law says you must do as an employer.

This section of the guide covers the following:

  • Avoiding direct and indirect discrimination

The specific age exception allowing different levels of annual leave based on length of service of up to five years

  • Making reasonable adjustments to remove barriers for disabled people and avoiding discrimination arising from disability
  • Considering requests for time off relating to a worker’s religion or belief
  • Considering requests for time off relating to a worker’s gender reassignment
  • Pregnancy-related absences
    • sickness absence
    • ante-natal care
  •  Maternity, paternity and adoption leave

Some types of leave, such as holiday, count as a benefit and are treated in the same way as pay. You can read more about what this means in the Equality and Human Rights Commission guide: What equality law means for you as an employer: pay and benefits.

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Last Updated: 27 Jul 2010