Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 became law on 1st October 2010.
On the 1st October 2010 the Government introduced the Equality Act 2010. The Act is the largest overhaul of UK anti discrimination law for around 35 years and affects organisations of all sizes. The Equality Act 2010 is one of the most important pieces of business legislation, affecting everything from how an organisation recruits people to how it provides its services and how it buys and sells products and services.
The Equality Act consolidates existing legislation on sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief and age and brings together over 116 separate pieces of legislation into one Single Act. It removes inconsistencies and makes it easier for people to understand and comply with it. The aim of the Equality Act is to strengthen the law, fight discrimination in all its forms and help to make equality a reality for everyone.
One Single Public Sector Equality Duty
Under the Act, All Public Authorities must in the exercise of its functions have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation, and any other conduct prohibited under the Act
- Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristics and those who do not
- Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not
Under the Equality Act it is unlawful to discriminate (treat less favourably) anyone directly or indirectly because of a protected characteristic (because of their age / disability / gender reassignment / marriage and civil partnership / pregnancy and maternity / race / religion or belief / sex / sexual orientation).
The Equality Act 2010 has strengthened and extended the types of discrimination in order to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation.
- Direct Discrimination
- Indirect Discrimination
- Associative Discrimination
- Third Party Harassment
These are known as protected characteristics. It is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of:
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Re-assignment
- Religion and Belief
- Marriage and Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy and Maternity