I’m in a civil partnership. Do I have the same right to my partner’s benefits package as a heterosexual married partner would have?

Not entirely. If you are in a civil partnership or a same-sex marriage, you have the right to the same employment benefits as a married person in a heterosexual relationship, with one important exception. It is not sexual orientation discrimination to deny survivorship benefits under an occupational pension scheme to your partner, where those benefits accrued before 5 December 2005. This is the date the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 became law.

It is now established law that denying these benefits to partners in a same-sex marriage or a civil partnership or a same-sex marriage is not unlawful sexual orientation discrimination. This was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in the case of Innospec Limited v Walker [2015] EWCA Civ 1000 CA.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.