Direct and indirect discrimination

Direct discrimination

Direct discrimination is when you are treated unfairly because of a characteristic you have, or are assumed to have, that is protected by New South Wales law.

For example, it may be direct discrimination if a real estate agent told an Aboriginal person that they have no properties for rent but told a Caucasian person that they do.

Indirect discrimination

Indirect discrimination is when a rule or requirement that applies to everybody unfairly disadvantages people who possess a characteristic protected by New South Wales law, and is not reasonable in the circumstances.

For example, if a qualifying body was to exclude everyone with diabetes from registration for safety reasons, this could indirectly discriminate against individuals whose diabetes is controlled and could do the job safely. Similarly, the enforcement of a height requirement for a job may indirectly discriminate against a substantial number of women as well as people from certain ethnic backgrounds.

Last updated:

09 Jun 2021

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the ongoing connection Aboriginal people have to this land and recognise Aboriginal people as the original custodians of this land.

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