The Law

The Law

What is the Equalities Act?

The Act provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all. It provides Britain with a discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society.

 

When was the Equalities Act passed?

A new Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010. It brings together over 116 separate pieces of legislation into one single Act.

 

Which legislations have been merged?

The nine main pieces of legislation that have merged are:

  • the Equal Pay Act 1970
  • the Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • the Race Relations Act 1976
  • the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
  • the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
  • the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
  • the Equality Act 2006, Part 2
  • the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007
  • The Equalities Act 2010

What are the 9 protected characteristics of the Equalities Act?

The Equality Act covers the same groups that were protected by existing equality legislation but they
are now called ‘protected characteristics’:

  • age;
  • disability;
  • gender reassignment;
  • marriage and civil partnership;
  • pregnancy and maternity;
  • race;
  • religion or belief;
  • sex;
  • sexual orientation.

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