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Adult Social Care Glossary, v 0.41

Protected characteristics

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Definition or reference in primary legislation
Equality Act 2010, S.4

The following characteristics are protected characteristics-- - age; - disability; - gender reassignment; - marriage and civil partnership; - pregnancy and maternity; - race; - religion or belief; - sex; - sexual orientation.

Digitising Social Care Glossary, v0.0.3

Protected characteristic is a term used in the Equality Act 2010 to describe who is protected by the Act. The protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act are: age, sex, race (including ethnicity and nationality), disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity and marriage or civil partnership.

CQC Glossary of terms used in the guidance for providers and managers

The protected equality characteristics are defined in the Equality Act 2010 and are:
- Age
- Disability
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity status
- Race
- Religion or belief
- Sex
- Sexual orientation.

NICE Guideline PH50 - Domestic violence and abuse: multi-agency working

The Equality Act (2010) makes it illegal to discriminate against anyone because of:
- age
- being or becoming a transsexual person
- being married or in a civil partnership
- being pregnant or having a child
- disability
- race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
- religion, belief or lack of religion/belief
- sex
- sexual orientation.

These are called 'protected characteristics'.

NICE Guideline NG227 - Advocacy services for adults with health and social care needs, section 1.8 (Box 2)

Examples of life circumstances and experiences that could lead to discrimination or inequalities
- transitioning from children's to adult care services
- communication impairment - learning difficulties - learning disability - poor literacy - refugee status - English not being a first language - being an offender - homelessness - being from a Gypsy, Roma or Traveller community - coercive control - health inequalities. Note: Some people could have multiple protected characteristics or life circumstances and experiences listed here and intersectionality may occur.

Plain English definition
Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) Jargon Buster

A list of factors that people are not allowed to use as a reason to treat you differently to anyone else. These factors are set out in the Equality Act 2010 and include things like age, disability, marital status, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation.

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