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Sexual Orientation legislation

Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation is prohibited in relation to education and training, employment and provision of goods, facilities and services. The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 make it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation in employment and vocational training. They prohibit direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment. The definition of sexual orientation includes actual or perceived sexual orientation and discrimination due to the association with a person(s) of these groups.

The Sexual Orientation Regulations apply to all employment and vocational training and include recruitment, terms and conditions, promotions, transfers, dismissals and training and in certain circumstances, after the working relationship has ended.

The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 introduced new provisions prohibiting discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods, facilities and services. These came into force on 30 April 2007.

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 enables same sex partners to register a civil partnership with similar effect to marriage.

Civil partners will have equal treatment in a wide range of legal matters with married couples, including:
• Tax, including inheritance tax;
• Employment benefits;
• Most state and occupational pension benefits;
• Income related benefits, tax credits and child support;
• Duty to provide reasonable maintenance for your civil partner and any children of the family;
• Ability to apply for parental responsibility for your civil partner’s child;
• Inheritance of a tenancy agreement;
• Recognition under intestacy rules;
• Access to fatal accidents compensation;
• Protection from domestic violence; and
• Recognition for immigration and nationality purposes

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