What is discrimination?

Discrimination is defined in terms of direct or indirect discrimination. 

Direct discrimination is generally established when a person is treated less favourably than another person in the same or similar circumstances.  For it to be discrimination, the less favourable treatment must be on grounds prohibited by legislation. 

For example, unlawful sex discrimination may arise if a person is refused a job interview because she is a woman.

Indirect discrimination is generally established when a condition or requirement is imposed on a person that, on its face, appears neutral, but in practice adversely impacts on a particular person with an attribute covered by anti‑discrimination legislation (e.g. sex, race, marital status, etc). The condition or requirement will be unlawful if it is not reasonable and there is no applicable exception or other defence.  There may be no intention to discriminate, but the conduct or decision leads to a discriminatory effect. 

For example, imposing a height requirement for job applicants may be indirectly discriminatory against women and people of certain races (depending on whether the requirement is reasonable).