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10 February 2004

Increasing numbers of workers have protection from discrimination
Greater numbers of workers than ever now have legal protection from discrimination at work, with the recent extension of the law to bar discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and religion or belief. And from October this year an additional 600,000 disabled workers will benefit from the inclusion under disability law of all workplaces, regardless of how many people they employ.

LRD's newly-published guide, Discrimination at work - a guide to the law, explains all the recent changes to the law, and shows how workers are protected from discrimination and harassment on the grounds of their sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or beliefs or because they have undergone gender reassignment. And from 2006 workers will gain protection from discrimination on grounds of age.

Although it is now a complex area of law, Discrimination at work - a guide to the law clearly explains how the different areas of discrimination law have much in common, as well as setting out some important differences in definitions. It describes key terms such as direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation, giving many examples from case law to show how they have been interpreted in practice.

Discrimination at work - a guide to the law will also explain when employers may be able to justify discrimination under the law - for example, in some cases related to disability or where there is a Genuine Occupational Qualification - and when they can't. It also looks at the provisions in the law for positive action to address underrepresentation or disadvantage among particular groups.

This latest guide in LRD's popular booklet series should be a useful resource for any union rep wanting to know what rights their members have, or indeed for individuals considering whether they have a claim for unlawful discrimination.

Notes to editors
1. Discrimination at work - a guide to the law is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?4.50 or ?10.95 for employers or commercial organisations. LRD booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?30.95 (?76.95 for employers/ commercial organisations). LRD publishes 10-11 booklets each year.

2. The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 90 years ago. Around 1,800 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership, are affiliated.

3. For press enquiries on this booklet contact Tessa Wright on 020 7902 9817. To order copies of the booklet telephone 020 7928 3649.

4. Full information about all of LRD's services and publications is available on the LRD website at www.lrd.org.uk.

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