Equality Act 2010

3 October 2010

90% of the Equality Act came into force on 1st October 2010.

The Act brings together various bits of legislation in respect to equality in the workplace and includes protecting against discrimination on health or gender grounds.

Equalities.gov.uk lists the provision that came into force as:

•The basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in services and public functions; premises; work; education; associations, and transport.

•Changing the definition of gender reassignment, by removing the requirement for medical supervision.

•Levelling up protection for people discriminated against because they are perceived to have, or are associated with someone who has, a protected characteristic, so providing new protection for people like carers.

•Clearer protection for breastfeeding mothers;

•Applying the European definition of indirect discrimination to all protected characteristics.

•Extending protection from indirect discrimination to disability.

•Introducing a new concept of “discrimination arising from disability”, to replace protection under previous legislation lost as a result of a legal judgment.

•Applying the detriment model to victimisation protection (aligning with the approach in employment law).

•Harmonising the thresholds for the duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

•Extending protection from 3rd party harassment to all protected characteristics.

•Making it more difficult for disabled people to be unfairly screened out when applying for jobs, by restricting the circumstances in which employers can ask job applicants questions about disability or health.

•Allowing claims for direct gender pay discrimination where there is no actual comparator.

•Making pay secrecy clauses unenforceable.

•Extending protection in private clubs to sex, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, and gender reassignment.

•Introducing new powers for employment tribunals to make recommendations which benefit the wider workforce.

•Harmonising provisions allowing voluntary positive action.