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Marriage and civil partnership

Marriage and civil partnership are one of the protected characteristics and it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees who fall into one or other of the categories. Single people are not protected. This protected characteristic can be the subject of direct and indirect discrimination and victimization.

You are protected if you’re legally married - this means your union is recognised as a marriage under UK law, even if you didn’t get married in the UK. The Act states that persons who are engaged to be married or are divorcees or persons whose civil partnership has been dissolved, those living with someone as a couple, those who believe they are married or in a civil partnership and widowed people do not have the protected characteristic.

The Act does not define "marriage" or "civil partnership" and therefore the general law applies.

The University will treat civil partners in the same way as married people in a wide range of matters, including employment and vocational training.

Any benefits given to married employees will also be offered to civil partners including:

  • Flexible working
  • Statutory paternity pay
  • Parental and adoption leave
  • Health insurance
  • Survivor pensions

More details and relevant policies are available to view on the Directorate of People and Organisational Development.


If you would like any further information on this or any other equality issue please contact the Equality and Diversity Team