Direct discrimination – occurs when a person is treated less favourably on grounds of one or more features than other person is, was or could be treated in a comparable situation. The key issue for assessing whether we have dealt with direct discrimination in a given case is to compare a less favourable behaviour towards a person with a legally protected feature to the treatment of another person without the mentioned feature in a similar situation.

An example of direct discrimination is the wage gap of employees of different gender who occupy the same post, with the same scope of obligations.

An example of direct discrimination in college may be the case when a lecturer divides students into two groups according to the age criterion for a semester exam – under and above 35 years old. Then he approves the exam of “senior” students, putting a “very good” grade to their exam sheets, and invites the rest of students to write an exam, the result of which determines the grade. In such situation, students who have not passed the written exam have the right to be accused of discrimination on the grounds of age.