41 min read


Last updated April 2024

This chapter explains what discrimination is, and how to avoid discrimination occurring in your workplace.

What is discrimination?

Definition: Discrimination

Discrimination is treating an employee less favourably than others in the workplace who are in the same or similar circumstances.

Discrimination may be:

  • direct;
  • indirect; or
  • systemic.

Direct discrimination

Definition: Direct Discrimination

Direct discrimination occurs when you treat another employee or group of employees differently because of a protected attribute or activity.

You will directly discriminate against an employee if the way you treat them is:

  • because of an attribute they have or a characteristic that people with that attribute generally have (even if that is not the only reason for the treatment); and
  • less favourable than you treat or would treat another employee without that attribute in the same circumstances.