Decisions relating to time off

Your employer must avoid unlawful discrimination when making a decision about time off. Decisions about time off might range from who takes their holiday when to how your employer records workers' absences.

Use the list to make sure you know what equality law says your employer must do to avoid unlawful discrimination.

This section of the guide covers the following:

  • Direct and indirect discrimination
  • the specific age exception allowing different levels of annual leave based on length of service of up to five years
  • Reasonable adjustments to remove barriers for disabled people and avoiding discrimination arising from disability
  • Requests for time off relating to a worker’s religion or belief
  • 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: Your rights to equality at work: pay and benefits.

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Last Updated: 29 Jul 2010