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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

29Jan

Employment law update 2020 Manchester office

We are pleased to invite you to our annual employment law update. These seminars are aimed at anyone who deals with employment law on a day to day basis, including HR Managers and HR Directors.

View event

6Feb

Employment law update 2020 Exeter office

We are pleased to invite you to our annual employment law update. These seminars are aimed at anyone who deals with employment law on a day to day basis, including HR Managers and HR Directors.

View event

focus on...

Legal updates

Pay discussions? Shhhhhh...

According to research by the TUC announced this week, almost a fifth of workers don’t talk about their pay at work because they are not allowed to.

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Legal updates

When will altering an investigation report result in an unfair dismissal?

The case of Dronsfield v University of Reading looked at altering an investigation report result which resulted in an unfair dismissal.

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Upcoming webinars

IR35: top 10 tips

With IR35 changes moving ever closer, this practical session will take you through the changes and give you clear advice on how to get ready.

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Legal updates

A tale of a whistleblower and two hats….

The Court of Appeal has handed down its decision in the case of Tiplady v City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, considering for the first time whether alleged detriments against whistleblowers have to be suffered in their capacity as employees (or workers) rather than in any other personal capacity.

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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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