Equality legislation and information

The Equality Act 2010

The majority of the Equality Act came into force on 1st October 2010, providing protection from discrimination on the basis of ‘protected characteristics'.

The Equality Act 2010 covers the same groups that were protected by existing equality legislation; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

The purpose of the Equality Act is, however, to bring together all anti-discrimination legislation to harmonise and strengthen the law to support progress on equality.

The nine main pieces of legislation that have been replaced by the Equality Act are:

  • Equal Pay Act 1970
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulation 2003
  • Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
  • Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
  • Equality act 2006 (Part 2)
  • Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007

Public Sector Equality Duty

We are supported in our commitment to equality through the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Equality Act 2010. The Act brings together all the legal requirements on equality that the private, public and voluntary sectors need to follow, and places the following duties on Local Authorities:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
  • Promote equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not promote good relations between persons of different backgrounds and who share a protected characteristic.
  • The Act helpfully explains that having regard for advancing equality involves removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics.
  • Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people
    Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.
  • Meeting different needs involves taking steps to take account of disabled people's disabilities. It describes fostering good relations a tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups.

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