The law prohibits any discriminatory practice based on race, religion, nationality, ideology, political affiliation, union membership and sex, as well as economic standing, social condition and/or physical characteristics.
The characteristics protected under equal opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation in the various states and territories of Australia, as well as in federal legislation, vary slightly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The protected characteristics common to all jurisdictions are: race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, marital or relationship status, family or carer's responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction, social origin, gender identity, intersex status or trade union membership.
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination and harassment: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
The Labor Law prohibits discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, ethnic origin, language, religion or belief. Further, dismissals on the basis of sex, color, religion, belief, social status, family responsibilities, a female worker's pregnancy, childbirth or nursing her infant shall be deemed to be automatically unfair.
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination and harassment: age, disability, gender, marital status, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, political conviction, physical or genetic characteristics, language, current or future health, affiliation to trade union.
Characteristics protected by statute from unlawful discrimination: gender, origin, race, color, marital status, family situation, age, pregnancy, religion, disability. Case law has also protected homosexuals, transgender individuals and individuals with severe illnesses from discriminatory termination.
All Canadian jurisdictions have legislation which prohibits harassment and discrimination based on a number of grounds. Protected grounds vary by jurisdiction but generally include: race, religion, age, disability, sex, gender identity and gender expression, sexual orientation, national/ethnic origin, record of (criminal) offences, marital status and family status. Employees who suffer harassment or discrimination may have a civil cause of action and/or access to a specialized tribunal/commission.
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination include race, color, sex, age, marital status, union membership, religion, political opinion, citizenship, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, language, beliefs, participation in professional trade associations, sexual orientation, gender identity, family situation, personal appearance, illness, disability and social origin.
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination and harassment: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sex. However, the legal remedy in this respect is limited in China.
Employers may not discriminate against employees or job candidates on the basis of: age, ethnic origin/race, sex, citizenship, disability, health conditions, religion, opinions, sexual orientation, marital status, union membership or any other criteria.
Direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment, victimization, incitement to discrimination and instruction to discriminate are prohibited. Employers are under a duty to make reasonable adjustments for persons with disabilities.
Protected characteristics: race, ethnic origin, nationality, sex (including pregnancy, maternity, paternity and sexual identification), sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, belief or worldviews.
Danish legislation prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination, and victimization and harassment, on various grounds including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, nationality, religion or belief, and sex or sexual orientation.
Employers may take positive action in the form of differential treatment if an employee with a disability is employed. In that case, the employer is obliged to take adequate measures to address the person's disadvantage in order for the person to overcome that disadvantage and function on an equal basis with other employees.
All employees have the right to equal treatment. Employers must not discriminate on the basis of gender, descent, ethnic or national origin, nationality, religion, age, health, disability, political activity, trade union activity or related reasons. The provisions are set out in the Equality Act and the Non-Discrimination Act. All employees, including applicants, are protected against discrimination.
Protected characteristics: origins, sex, customs, sexual orientation, age, family situation, pregnancy, general characteristics, affiliation or non-affiliation, whether actual or assumed, to an ethnic group, a nation or a race, political opinions, activities linked to a union or a mutual benefit company, religious beliefs, physical appearance, family name, health and disability, and place of residence.
Statutory protection against unlawful discrimination and harassment based on: race or ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation.
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination, victimization and harassment: sex, pregnancy, marital status, family status (ie, having responsibility for the care of an immediate family member), disability, race and union affiliation.
Direct and indirect discrimination, victimization, unlawful segregation and harassment are prohibited.
Employers are forbidden to discriminate against employees on grounds of sex, race, color, nationality, national or ethnic origin, mother tongue, disability, health status, religion or belief, political or other opinion, marital status, sexual orientation, age, or any other circumstances which are not connected to work.
The principle of equal treatment is not violated if the differences applied are based on a difference in the nature, the quality or the quantity of the work, a difference in working conditions, required training, experience, responsibility or based on differences in the labor market conditions.
The right to equality is a fundamental right under the Indian Constitution and state institutions are expressly prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sex, caste, religion, race and place of birth. Although these provisions do not strictly apply to employment in the private sector, employers in the private sector are bound by the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976. This guarantees equal pay to employees performing the same work, or work of a similar nature, regardless of gender. It prohibits discrimination against women in the context of recruitment, promotion, training and transfer.
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013 (POSH Act) also protects and provides a means of redress for women who suffer from sexual harassment at work. The POSH Act has wide application because its definition of 'workplace' covers both public and private establishments and covers regular, ad-hoc or temporary employees, either employed directly or through an agent. The POSH Act requires all offices, hospitals, institutions and other workplaces to have an internal mechanism for addressing complaints related to sexual harassment, including providing for settlement by way of conciliation. The employer has to have an internal complaints committee to look into complaints, hold an inquiry and submit a report to address any issues relating to sexual harassment. The District Officer can establish a local complaints committee for establishments that do not have internal complaints committees due to employing less than ten workers, or when the complaint is against the employer.
The employer is also prohibited from committing any unfair trade practices listed in the IDA, including discriminating against workmen.
The RPWD Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of a persons disability, unless proportionate to achieve a legitimate aim. Under the RPWD Act, an employer must ensure that a person is not denied a promotion merely on the ground of his/her disability. It also requires all employers to notify and publish an equal opportunity policy with details of facilities and amenities provided to persons with disabilities to enable them to effectively discharge their duties in the establishment. For establishments with 20 or more employees:
- the policy must contain a list of positions suitable for persons with disabilities; the manner of selection of persons with disabilities, post-recruitment and pre-promotion training, preference in transfer and posting, special leave, preference in allotment of residential accommodation, if any, and other facilities; details of the provisions for assistive devices, barrier-free accessibility and other provisions; and details of the liaison officer
- a liaison officer must be appointed to look after the recruitment of persons with disabilities and the provision of facilities and amenities
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination: sex, ethnicity, race, religion and political orientation.
No regulated protection from harassment for employees. Employees wishing to take action against sexual harassment in the workplace can file a claim on the basis of the civil tort law.
Direct and indirect discrimination prohibited, along with victimization and harassment. Employers are under a duty to make reasonable adjustments for persons with disabilities.
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination and harassment: Gender, age, race/nationality, religion, family status, civil status, disability, sexual orientation and/or membership of the Traveller community.
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination and harassment: age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race, religious belief, nationality, country of origin, place of residency, opinion, political party, participation in military service (including military reserve duty), and matrimonial and parental status.
Employees are protected against direct and indirect discrimination during the course of their employment, on several grounds, such as sex, religion, race, color, political opinion. Discrimination is always prohibited (from the hiring procedure to the termination of employment).
Japan's labor law recognizes the principle of equal treatment of employees. Discriminatory treatment with respect to wages, working hours, or other working conditions by reason of nationality, creed or social status is prohibited. This includes a prohibition against discrimination with respect to dismissal, fringe benefits, pay and all other aspects of the working relationship between employer and employee.
For instance, the Law Respecting the Guarantee of Equal Opportunity and Treatment Between Men and Women in Employment prohibits discrimination regarding gender in recruitment, hiring and employment in Japan.
Direct and indirect discrimination prohibited, along with victimization and harassment. It is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race, color, tribe, sex, religion, political opinion or affiliation, national extraction, nationality, social origin, marital status, HIV status or disability.
Disability discrimination. A person with special needs is defined under the Kuwaiti Handicapped Law as "any person suffering from total or partial deficiency or disorder; permanently or temporarily in his physical, sensory, mental, communicative, educational or psychological abilities to an extent reducing the possibility of meeting his normal requirements."
Only Kuwaiti nationals with special needs have the right to work and occupy positions.
Flexible working hours and suitable equipment in order to perform their work must be provided to these employees, and these employees must not face any discrimination.
There are no other discrimination provisions in the Labor Law, except for a provision stating that a female employee shall have the right to the same salary given to a male employee if she performs the same job.
Discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation, nationality, racial or ethnic origin and sex is prohibited with regard to access to employment, access to all types and levels of vocational guidance, employment and working conditions, and membership of and involvement in an organization of workers or employers.
There is no statutory protection against discrimination.
Employers may not discriminate against employees or job candidates on the basis of: age, ethnic origin/race, sex, citizenship, disabilities, health conditions, religion, opinions, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other criteria.
Discrimination based on race, skin color, gender, religion, political opinions, social origin, and union freedom, is forbidden by article 9 of the Labor Code.
Discrimination between men and women regarding wages is specifically prohibited by article 346 of the Labor Code.
All employees are guaranteed equal rights at work, regardless of their ethnic origin, language, race, gender, marital status, age (within the limits set by law), social condition, religious and political ideas and membership or non-membership in a union.
Measures that benefit certain disadvantaged groups, namely, measures based on gender, impaired work capacity, disability or chronic disease, taken for the purpose of guaranteeing the exercise of the rights set forth in this law on an equal footing, and to correct a persistent factual situation of inequality in social life, shall not be considered as discriminatory.
Female employees shall be respected and any act performed in violation of their dignity shall be punished by law. Employees who commit acts which violate the dignity of a female employee shall be subject to disciplinary proceedings. Employers are forbidden from dismissing, imposing sanctions or otherwise causing prejudice to a female employee on the basis of allegations of discrimination or exclusion.
Harassment, including sexual harassment, whether committed in or outside of the workplace, which interferes with the security of employment or with the professional progress of the employee, constitutes a disciplinary offense.
Employers shall promote measures that allow disabled employees to enjoy the same rights and have the same responsibilities as other employees. Instruments of collective labor regulation may establish special measures to protect disabled employees. There are no specific regulations on this matter, but as a matter of practice employers would for instance refurbish the workplace entrance to allow easy access for disabled employees in wheelchairs.
Employees with HIV-AIDS may not be discriminated against.
The employer shall not discriminate or fail to honor employment rights equally on the grounds of the employee being a member of a labor organization, nationality, religion, race, sex and age.
Employees are entitled to the prescribed minimum wage without discrimination on the basis of gender.
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination and harassment: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
Employees are protected from discrimination and harassment under both the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Human Rights Act 1993. Protected characteristics are age (from 16 years), color, disability, employment status, family status, marital status, political opinion, race, ethnic or national origins, religious or ethical belief, sex, sexual orientation and union involvement.
The Nigerian Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of gender, religion, age, political affinity, and ethnic/tribal group.
Both direct and indirect discrimination is prohibited with regard to all aspects of the employment relationship.
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination: political views, membership of a trade union, sexual orientation, disability, gender, age, ethnic origin, national origin, descent, color, language, religion, and ethical and cultural orientation.
Employees and applicants with disabilities are entitled to appropriate individual adaption of their workplace and tasks
There are no specific discrimination laws in Oman, save for 2 provisions in the Labor Law relating to non-discrimination of women employed in similar situations to men and preference for employment of Omani nationals. The Basic Law and Penal Code prohibit abuse or harassment on the grounds of gender, origin, color, language, religion, sect, domicile, and social status.
It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any woman employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment solely on account of her sex. (Labor Code of the Philippines, Art. 135)
The Labor Code of the Philippines likewise considers it unlawful for an employer to require, as a condition for or continuation of employment, that a woman employee shall not get married or to stipulate expressly or tacitly that upon getting married, a woman employee shall be deemed resigned or separated. (Labor Code of the Philippines, Art. 136)
Sexual harassment is also prohibited. (Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995)
Against persons with disability
No disabled persons shall be denied access to opportunities for suitable employment. A qualified disabled employee shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment and the same compensation, privileges, benefits, fringe benefits, incentives or allowances as a qualified able-bodied person. (Republic Act No. 2010911)
Based on age
It is unlawful for an employer to do one the following:
- Print or publish, or cause to be printed or published, in any form of media, any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications and discrimination based on age
- Require the declaration of age or birth date during the application process
- Decline any employment application because of the individual's age
- Discriminate against an individual in terms of compensation, terms and conditions or privileges of employment on account of age
- Deny promotion or opportunity for training because of age
- Forcibly lay off an employee or worker because of old age
- Impose early retirement on the basis of age (Section 5 (a) of Republic Act No. 10911)
Any discrimination against employees is prohibited. Provisions of employment contracts that infringe the principle of equal treatment are null and void, and the statutory provisions apply instead. Where there are no appropriate regulations, the infringing provisions should be replaced with appropriate provisions.
Characteristics protected: ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital status, family status, economic status, education, social origin or status, genetic heritage, reduced working capacity, disability, chronic disease, nationality, ethnic origin or race, territory origin, language, religion, political or ideological beliefs, union membership and maternity.
Portugal also has specific pay equity legislation.
There are no discrimination laws in Qatar except for provisions which state that a woman must be paid the same as a man if she performs the same work and must be provided with the same opportunities with regards to training and promotion.
Direct and indirect discrimination is prohibited, along with victimization and harassment (including sexual harassment and psychological harassment). Employers have an obligation to include provisions prohibiting discrimination in their internal regulations.
The main characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination and harassment: race, nationality, ethnic background, language, religion, social category, beliefs, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation, etc.
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination and harassment: age, place of residence, disability, gender reassignment, family status, wealth, occupation, pregnancy or maternity, race, nationality, language, origin, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
Generally, there may be no discrimination in terms and conditions of employment (eg, as to leaves or end-of-service benefits), but, aside from the new rules below, there are few specific anti-discrimination or harassment laws. Some of the terms of the Labor Law are specific to expatriates. Provisions concerning foreign recruitment, repatriation and related matters do not apply to Saudi nationals. There are also some specific rules for female employees.
In June 2018, new anti-harassment laws took effect and provide that each private or public sector employer is required to take appropriate measures to prevent harassment in the workplace. This requires employers to follow certain procedures as stated in the law (ie, to have clear guidance and processes related to harassment complaints, and to have disciplinary procedures for harassment complaints, to confirm their validity and ensure their confidentiality).
Further, employers are required to investigate any breaches of their anti-harassment policies and the anti-harassment law, and must not interfere with the affected employee's right to raise a complaint to the authorities regarding any harassment. While the law is silent on how to publish these procedures and policies, employers must ensure their employees are aware of the relevant information.
Singapore does not have any legislation which expressly prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation. While the Constitution provides that all persons are entitled to the equal protection of the law and that there shall be no discrimination based on religion, race, descent or place of birth, successful challenges on constitutional grounds are rare.
The main type of employment legislation that deals with the issue of discrimination concerns age discrimination. The Retirement and Re-employment Act applies to all employees and prohibits the dismissal of any employee who is below the current retirement age of 62 on the grounds of age, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary.
Also, female employees under the EA may not be dismissed solely for being absent from work in accordance with the maternity leave provisions set out in the EA or in the Child Co-savings Development Act, though this is not characterized as discrimination per se.
The Enlistment Act generally prohibits employers from dismissing employees solely or mainly by reason of being called up for national service.
There are also general guidelines, such as the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices, issued by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP), that encourage fair treatment of employees. If an individual encounters workplace discrimination in breach of these Tripartite Guidelines, they can contact TAFEP, which may first engage informally with the employer to assess if the complaint is meritorious. TAFEP can refer cases to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) where the employer is recalcitrant or unresponsive, and the MOM can impose certain administrative sanctions against errant employers (eg, curtailing work pass applications and privileges).
Direct and indirect unlawful discrimination and harassment is prohibited on grounds of sex, marital status and family status, sexual orientation, race, skin color, language, age, adverse health condition or disability, genetic characteristics, belief, religion, political or other views, trade union activity, national or social origin, nationality or ethnicity, property, gender or any other status.
Direct and indirect unfair discrimination are prohibited. Sexual harassment and unequal pay on prohibited grounds are given express protection as forms of unfair discrimination. Designated employers are obliged to put into place affirmative action policies, including numerical targets but excluding quotas, to increase access to opportunities for previously disadvantaged South African citizens (African, Colored, Indian people, women and people with disabilities).
The listed grounds protected from unfair discrimination are race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibility, ethnic or social origin, color, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, HIV status, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language, birth and any other arbitrary ground.
The LSA prohibits discrimination against employees on the grounds of sex, nationality, religion or social status. Discrimination is also prohibited under statutes protecting disabled employees, female employees, foreign workers, and non-regular workers. Age discrimination is also prohibited.
Characteristics protected: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, political ideas, union membership, family relationships with co-workers and language.
Discrimination cases are not frequent in Spain, with the exception of trade union-related issues, or discrimination based on family-related rights (ie, maternity, paternity).
The Discrimination Act covers discrimination on the grounds of: sex, ethnic origin, religious or other belief, disability, sexual orientation, age and transgender identity or expression. The Discrimination Act contains provisions on active measures, supervision, and invalidity of discriminatory provisions in individual and collective bargaining agreements, entitlement to compensation and legal proceedings. The employer is required to take positive action in order to promote equal rights and opportunities irrespective of any of the protected characteristics.
Gender discrimination is directly prohibited. Other kinds of unjustified discrimination are indirectly prohibited (ie, only if the employee is able to prove that the discrimination has led to a violation of his or her personality, that is, when he or she has suffered painfully worse treatment than other employees, without any objective reason).
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination and harassment: age, disability, class, thought, facial features, language, gender reassignment, marital status, political party, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
The Thai Constitution prohibits discrimination and the unequal treatment of employees. All persons are equal and shall enjoy equal protection under the law. Unjust discrimination against a person on the grounds of origin, race, language, sex, age, physical or health condition, personal status, economic or social standing, religious belief, education, or political views, is not permitted.
The LPA also provides for equality in the workplace for employees, and requires that an employer should treat male and female employees equally in their employment, unless the nature of the work or working conditions does not allow the employer to do so.
The Thai Labor Standards Corporate Social Responsibility of Thai Business, as launched by the Ministry of Labor, specifically prohibits discrimination in employment on grounds ofnational origin, race, religion, language, age, sex, marital status, personal attitude on gender or sexual orientation, invalidity, HIV/AIDS status, trade union membership, employees' committee membership, political affiliation or other personal opinions.
No discrimination based on language, race, color, sex, disability, political opinion, philosophical opinion, religion or similar reasons, union membership or non-membership, or maternity is permissible.
Statutory protection against unlawful discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, political opinion, national or social origin, HIV status or disability.
Every employer shall pay male and female equal remuneration for work of equal value.
Discrimination based on any ground unrelated to ability to perform job duties is prohibited. Prohibited grounds include: race, ethnic or social origin, political, religious or other beliefs, skin color, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, family and property status, membership in a trade union or other civil group, participation in a strike, language attributes, age, etc.
United Arab Emirates
Since August 2015, legislation has been in force which was primarily designed to combat religious contempt and intolerance. However, through the introduction of the wide definition of "discrimination," it could have broader consequences for the workplace. Under the new legislation, discrimination is defined as any distinction, restriction, exclusion or preference on the basis of one of the protected characteristics (religion, creed, doctrine, sect, caste, race, color or ethnic origin). This new discrimination law does not remove the discriminatory provisions in existing law such as positive discrimination in favor of national employees or any advantage, preference or benefit upon women, children, disabled persons, the elderly or others prescribed by any other legislation.
There are also specific anti-discrimination provisions in the Dubai International Financial Centre Free Zone Employment Regulations and the Abu Dhabi Global Market Regulations.
Under the UAE Labor Law, there are provisions which state that a woman must be paid the same as a man if she performs the same work. A new draft pay equality law has now been issued.
Under the new discrimination legislation, it is important to note that the representative, director or agent of a legal entity may be held vicariously liable for offenses under that law committed by employees of that entity. In order for vicarious liability to arise, the offense must have been committed with the knowledge of the representative/director/agent, and the employee must have been acting in the entity's name or to its interest.
Direct and indirect discrimination is prohibited, along with victimization and harassment. Employers are under a duty to make reasonable adjustments for persons with disabilities.
Characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination and harassment: Age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
Federal law generally protects employees from discrimination, harassment or retaliation based on: race, color, religion, sex (including transgender identities and, potentially, sexual orientation), national origin – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII); age (over 40) – Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA); disability – Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and genetic information – Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). State and local protected categories vary and are often broader, and include: creed, sexual orientation, marital status, domestic partnership status, military status, domestic violence victim status, arrest record, conviction record, alienage, citizenship status, and unemployment status. Some states and local jurisdictions have banned asking candidates about compensation history in an attempt to reduce pay inequality.
Discrimination, exclusion, preference or restriction in employment based on race, sex, age, legal status, religion, political opinion, nationality, sexual orientation, persons with disabilities, social origin and criminal records are prohibited. The non-discrimination principle in employment also includes the pre-contractual relationship. Employers may not include discriminatory provisions in job applications or employment agreements. No persons shall be discriminated against, with regard to their right to work, due to having a criminal record.
Any discrimination on the grounds of gender, nationality, social class, marital status, religion, HIV status, disability, joining or establishing a trade union, and discrimination against outsourced employees is prohibited.