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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

25Sep

In-house lawyers' update Nottingham office

Our next in-house lawyers' sessions will give in-house lawyers the tools and strategies for dealing with some of the problems caused by recent changes to the law.

View event

2Oct

In-house lawyers' update London office

Our next in-house lawyers' sessions will give in-house lawyers the tools and strategies for dealing with some of the problems caused by recent changes to the law.

View event

focus on...

Brexit resources

Contract drafting and Brexit: considerations for local authorities

As Brexit Day inches closer there are many things for local authorities to consider. One of which is whether contracts already in place or currently being negotiated will still be accurate or support council business after Brexit.

View brexit resources

Guides

An introduction to EMI share options

Share options granted under the Enterprise Management Incentive Scheme (usually referred to as EMI options) are a popular choice for SME and start-up companies who want to reward and incentivise employees in alternative ways to simply paying them more amounts of cash.

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How to have a settlement discussion with an employee - hear from Kerren Daly

The Acas Code on settlement agreements provides limited guidance on how to conduct settlement agreement negotiations with an employee

View

Legal updates

Government publishes MSA review response and associated consultation

The Government has recently published a Consultation on proposed measures to strengthen the transparency in supply chain provisions in section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA).

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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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