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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

3Dec

Breakfast Club seminar Exeter office

The use of contractors in the workplace remains a challenging area and we would very much enjoy your company and contribution at our round table December breakfast session.

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focus on...

Legal updates

Rising wage rates?

With an election now set for December 2019, wage rate announcements will be deferred until at least mid-December, if not January.

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Upcoming webinars

IR35: If it walks like a duck...

In the UK, a great number of organisations engage self-employed IR35 contractors to complete work on their behalf.

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Legal updates

Executive pay ratio reporting

In January 2019, The Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) came into force.As these Regulations relate to relevant financial years, we will start to see the impact of this additional reporting obligation from January 2020, covering information collected this year.

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Legal updates

Are you ready for April 2020?

With a number of employment law changes already lined up or expected to take effect in April 2020, a little reminder of what is to come will help ensure that you can take the steps needed to prepare.

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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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