Direct discrimination happens when a person, or a group of people, is treated less favourably than another person or group because of their background or certain personal characteristics.

Direct discrimination is unlawful under federal discrimination laws if the discrimination is based on protected characteristics, such as a person’s race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibilities, breastfeeding, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. Some limited exemptions and exceptions apply.

Example: It could be ‘direct age discrimination’ if an older applicant is not considered for a job because it is assumed that they are not as familiar or comfortable with new technology compared with a younger person.