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Equality Act 2010

4 October 2010

The Equality Act, which came into force on 1 October 2010, provides a new legislative framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all. The Act simplifies and brings into one Act existing discrimination law. It also introduces additional protections in a number of areas ranging from the use of hypothetical comparators in equal pay claims to reversing the impact of the Malcolm decision in Disability Discrimination. All practitioners need to be familiar with the new language and concepts utlisied in the legislation and be aware of key new principles.

Provisions which came into force on 1 October 2010:

  • 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
  • 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 Malcolm
  • 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 hypothetical comparators for direct gender pay discrimination
  • Making pay secrecy clauses unenforceable
  • Introducing new powers for employment tribunals to make recommendations which benefit the wider workforce
  • Harmonising provisions allowing voluntary positive action

Provisions the Government is still considering:

  • The Socio-economic Duty on public authorities
  • Dual discrimination
  • Gender pay gap information
  • Positive action in recruitment and promotion

To find out more about the Act and its implications, download our full summary of the Equality Act 2010 from our recent seminar.

Training and events

11Oct

Autumn Regional HR Forums - Birmingham Microsoft Teams

We are pleased to invite you to join us at one of our next Regional HR Forum. The forums are aimed at those who lead the HR function in schools and academies across the nation.

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12Oct

Autumn Regional HR Forums - Nottingham Microsoft Teams

We are pleased to invite you to join us at one of our next Regional HR Forum. The forums are aimed at those who lead the HR function in schools and academies across the nation.

View event

Focus on...

Blogs

Revoking and reforming EU law

The Government has published the Retained EU Revocation and Reform Bill which, if passed, provides for the revocation of all “EU-derived subordinate legislation” (i.e. UK statutory instruments which were introduced to implement EU law) and retained direct EU legislation on 31 December 2023, unless legislation is specifically introduced to save them.

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Legal updates

Government pension's consultation on the reporting of climate change risks

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has published a consultation on proposals to require Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) administering authorities (AAs) in England and Wales to assess, manage and report on climate change risks.

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Blogs

Gender equality

Randstad has published a report on gender equality in the workplace based upon survey responses from 6,000 workers within the construction, education, healthcare and technology sectors. Whilst legislation relating to sex discrimination has been around for over 45 years, nearly three quarters of female workers surveyed reported that they had either experienced or witnessed inappropriate behaviour or comments from male colleagues.

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Employment Law – Harpur Trust v Brazel – Implications for schools webinar

On 20 July 2022, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited judgment in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel, upholding the decision of the Court of Appeal. For those of you familiar with this case, you will know that it concerns the statutory leave requirements for part-time and part-year workers. For schools and academies whose workforce consists of a variety of types of part-time and part-year workers, this case is one that must be understood before any changes are applied. Come and join Emma Hughes, Head of HR Services as she puts questions to Ian Deakin, Employment Partner, and Sarah Linden, Senior Associate.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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