Fighting for fairness and equality

Everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. The ability to live and work without prejudice is a fundamental right, regardless of your background, identity and experiences.

One of UNISON’s main aims is to help workers fight for fairness and equality in the workplace and beyond. Challenging discrimination and winning equality is at the heart of everything UNISON does.

Besides the right not to be discriminated against or bullied, fair treatment also includes dignity at work, access to opportunities and equal working conditions and pay.

The right to fairness and equality

Employees are protected against discrimination and unfair treatment by the Equality Act and relevant regulations in Northern Ireland. The Equality Act contains something called the public sector equality duty, which requires public bodies to actively promote equality and eliminate discrimination.

If a member has been discriminated against or treated unfairly at work, UNISON negotiates with employers on a member’s behalf, attends tribunals, offers legal help and makes employers aware of the law. The Equality Act  makes it unlawful for employers to treat you unfairly because of:

  • age;
  • disability;
  • gender reassignment;
  • marriage and civil partnership;
  • pregnancy and maternity;
  • race;
  • religion or belief;
  • sex;
  • sexual orientation.

It is also unlawful for employers to have a rule, policy or practice that someone is less likely to be able to fulfil than other employees because of one of the reasons above.

How UNISON fights for fairness and equality

We encourage all members to join the discussion on how to provide public services and how equality can be promoted when delivering them.

UNISON has a history of winning on equality. We continue to fight against discrimination wherever we encounter it and regularly help members challenge unequal or unfair treatment, including all forms of prejudice and discrimination, racism, bullying and harassment and equal pay.

Black members equality

This section is about equality for Black members. UNISON’s Black members group works with all parts of our union to improve equality in the workplace and challenge racism and discrimination.

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    Picture of the national disabled members committee

    Disabled members equality

    This section is about equality for disabled members. Our disabled members’ group works with all parts of the union to fight discrimination and prejudice and campaign for improved workplace accessibility.

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      LGBT+ members equality

      This section is about LGBT+ equality. The LGBT+ members group works with all parts of the union to improve equality, fight discrimination and prejudice in the workplace and provide support for our members.

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        Age discrimination

        Retired members equality

        This section is about retired members. Our retired members group works closely with other parts of the union on almost every issue that affects workers in the UK, as well as fighting for quality public services, on which many older people rely.

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          Geneder discrimination

          Women members equality

          This section is about women’s equality. UNISON women work with all parts of the union to end discrimination and campaign for equality. We work for improvements to women’s rights in the workplace and in the wider community.

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            Young members equality

            This section is about young members equality. UNISON young members group is for members who are under 27. Our young members group works with other parts of the union to encourage recruitment, organisation and participation of young workers. The group also provides a powerful voice for young members and the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge.

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