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Discrimination of a person who does not possess the protected characteristic, but is associated to someone who does.
Ms Coleman, who cared for her severely disabled son brought a claim against her former employers. Ms Coleman claimed that she was criticised for taking time off and accused of using her son's disability to her own advantage, which created a hostile working environment and ultimately resulted in her being disciplined. This is an example of discrimination by association.
Indirect Discrimination occurs where an employer applies a provision, criterion or practice that has an adverse impact, disproportionately on a group of people who share any of the protected characteristics, unless the provision can be justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
This is a less obvious form of discrimination than direct discrimination.
An example of indirect sex discrimination would be where a job advertisement imposes an age restriction yet calls for a certain number of years experience. This precludes a larger number of women from applying for the job than men because a larger proportion of women take a career break when raising a family. As it is a provision or criterion that can be met more easily by one group (males) over the other (females), it therefore discriminates indirectly.