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Not to be confused with the Equality Act 2006.
Equality Act 2010
Long title An Act to make provision to require Ministers of the Crown and others when making strategic decisions about the exercise of their functions to have regard to the desirability of reducing socio-economic inequalities; to reform and harmonise equality law and restate the greater part of the enactments relating to discrimination and harassment related to certain personal characteristics; to enable certain employers to be required to publish information about the differences in pay between male and female employees; to prohibit victimisation in certain circumstances; to require the exercise of certain functions to be with regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and other prohibited conduct; to enable duties to be imposed in relation to the exercise of public procurement functions; to increase equality of opportunity; to amend the law relating to rights and responsibilities in family relationships; and for connected purposes.
Chapter 2010 c 15
Territorial extent England and Wales; Scotland; section 82, 105 (3) and (4) and 199 also apply to Northern Ireland
Dates
Royal Assent 8 April 2010
Commencement 1 October 2010
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The Equality Act 2010[1] is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom, and has the same goals as the four major EU Equal Treatment Directives, whose provisions it mirrors and implements.[2]

The primary purpose of the Act is to codify the complicated and numerous array of Acts and Regulations, which formed the basis of anti-discrimination law in Great Britain. This was, primarily, the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and three major statutory instruments protecting discrimination in employment on grounds of religion or belief, sexual orientation and age. It requires equal treatment in access to employment as well as private and public services, regardless of the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. In the case of gender, there are special protections for pregnant women. However, the Act allows transsexual people to be barred from gender-specific services if that is "a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim".[3] In the case of disability, employers and service providers are under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to their workplaces to overcome barriers experienced by disabled people. In this regard, the Equality Act 2010 did not change the law. Under s.217, with limited exceptions the Act does not apply to Northern Ireland.

Background[edit]

The Labour Party included a commitment to an Equality Bill in its 2005 election manifesto. The Discrimination Law Review was established in 2005 to develop the legislation and was led by the Government Equalities Office. The review considered the findings of the Equalities Review Panel, chaired by Trevor Phillips, which reported in February 2007.[4] The Act is intended to simplify the law by bringing together existing anti-discrimination legislation. The Equality Act 2010 has replaced the Equal Pay Act 1970, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003[5] and the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.

Polly Toynbee wrote that the bill, which was drafted under the guidance of Harriet Harman, was "Labour's biggest idea for 11 years. A public-sector duty to close the gap between rich and poor will tackle the class divide in a way that no other policy has... This new duty to narrow the gap would permeate every aspect of government policy. Its possible ramifications are mind-bogglingly immense." One cabinet member described it with relish as "socialism in one clause".[6]

The Act extends until 2030 the exemption from sex discrimination law allowing political parties to select all women or all men candidate short-lists. The existing exemption until 2015 was created by the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002.

The Parliamentary process was completed following a debate, shortly after 11pm on 6 April 2010, when amendments by the House of Lords were accepted in full.[7] Exactly one month later, Labour was defeated in the United Kingdom general election, 2010.

Debate[edit]

Reform of the monarchy[edit]

In April 2008, Solicitor General Vera Baird announced that as part of the Single Equality Bill, legislation would be introduced to repeal parts of the Act of Settlement 1701 that prevent Roman Catholics or those who marry Roman Catholics from ascending to the throne, and to change the inheritance of the monarchy from cognatic primogeniture to absolute primogeniture, i.e. the first-born heir would inherit the throne regardless of his or her gender or religion.[8]

However, Attorney General The Baroness Scotland of Asthal subsequently ruled there would be no change in the law of succession in 2008, saying, "To bring about changes to the law on succession would be a complex undertaking involving amendment or repeal of a number of items of related legislation, as well as requiring the consent of legislatures of member nations of the Commonwealth".[9] The published draft bill did not contain any provisions to change succession laws. Cognatic primogeniture for the British monarchy was instead abolished three years after the Equality Act came into force, with the passing of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013.

Bishop opposition[edit]

Although the Act was never going to change the law from its existing position, or binding European Union law which covers many more Catholics than in the UK, and this position was spelled out in the High Court in R (Amicus) v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry[10] a small number of Roman Catholic Bishops of England and Wales made claims that they could be prosecuted under the Equality Act 2010 for refusing to allow married men, women, transsexual people and gay people into the priesthood.[11][12][13] The legislation has also attracted criticism from local Anglican clergy.[14] This claim has been rejected by the government. A spokesperson has said an exemption "covers ministers of religion such as Catholic priests"[11] and a document released by the Government Equalities Office states that "the Equality Bill will not change the existing legal position regarding churches and employment".[15]

Exempt occupations[edit]

Certain employment is exempted from the act, including:

  • Priests, monks, nuns, rabbis and ministers of religion.
  • Actors and models in the film, television and fashion industries (they may need a British Chinese actress for a specific role, for instance).
  • Special employment training programmes aimed at ethnic minorities, ex-offenders, young adults, the long term unemployed, or people with physical or learning disabilities.
  • Employment where there are cultural sensitivities (such as a documentary where male victims of domestic violence need to be interviewed by a male researcher, or a gay men's domestic violence helpline).
  • Where safety or operational efficiency could be jeopardised.
  • Political parties who run all women or all-gay shortlists.
  • Local support staff who work in embassies and high commissions, by virtue of diplomatic immunity.

Contents[edit]

  • Part 1 Socio-economic inequalities (but this will not come into force[16][not in citation given])
  • Part 2 Equality: key concepts
    • Chapter 1 Protected characteristics[17]
    • Chapter 2 Prohibited conduct[18]
  • Part 3 Services and public functions
  • Part 4 Premises
  • Part 5 Work
    • Chapter 1 Employment, etc.[19]
    • Chapter 2 Occupational pension schemes[20]
    • Chapter 3 Equality of terms[21]
    • Chapter 4 Supplementary[22]
  • Part 6 Education
    • Chapter 1 Schools
    • Chapter 2 Further and higher education
    • Chapter 3 General qualifications bodies
    • Chapter 4 Miscellaneous
  • Part 7 Associations
  • Part 8 Prohibited conduct: ancillary
  • Part 9 Enforcement
    • Chapter 1 Introductory
    • Chapter 2 Civil courts
    • Chapter 3 Employment tribunals
    • Chapter 4 Equality of terms
    • Chapter 5 Miscellaneous
  • Part 10 Contracts, etc.
  • Part 11 Advancement of equality
    • Chapter 1 Public sector equality duty
    • Chapter 2 Positive action
  • Part 12 Disabled persons: transport
    • Chapter 1 Taxis etc.
    • Chapter 2 Public service vehicles
    • Chapter 3 Rail vehicles
    • Chapter 4 Supplementary
  • Part 13 Disability: miscellaneous[23]
  • Part 14 General exceptions[24]
  • Part 15 General and miscellaneous

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Equality Act 2010". The National Archives. Retrieved Mar 2013. 
  2. ^ see EU Directive 2000/78/EC, 2000/43/EC, 2006/54/EC
  3. ^ Equality Act sch.3, part 7, para 28
  4. ^ "Discrimination Law Review (DLR)". Government Equalities Office. 
  5. ^ See also, Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations
  6. ^ guardian.co.uk: "Harman's law is Labour's biggest idea for 11 years" (Toynbee) 13 Jan 2009
  7. ^ See the debate in Hansard HC vol 508 cols 927-942 (6 April 2010)
  8. ^ "Move to change succession laws". bbc.co.uk. 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  9. ^ Andrew Pierce (29 April 2008). "U-turn on royal succession law change". London: The Telegraph. 
  10. ^ [2004] EWHC 860 (Admin)
  11. ^ a b English, Welsh bishops say Equality Bill redefines who can be priest[dead link]
  12. ^ "Equality Bill redefines who can be priest: UK Bishops". Cathnews.com. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2010-06-03. [dead link]
  13. ^ Kirsty Walker (2009-11-18). "Christmas could be killed off by Harman's Equality Bill, bishops warn". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  14. ^ UK Government attacked over Equality Bil[dead link]
  15. ^ "Myth-Busting: the Equality Bill and Religion" (PDF). Government Equalities Office. Archived from the original on 2010-01-10. Retrieved 2010-01-10. In the case of Ministers of Religion and other jobs which exist to promote and represent religion, the Bill recognises that a church may need to impose requirements regarding sexual orientation, sex, marriage and civil partnership or gender reassignment if it is necessary to comply with its teachings or the strongly held beliefs of followers. However, it would not be right to permit such requirements across all jobs within organised religions, such as administrators and accountants, and the Equality Bill makes this clear.
  16. ^ "Socio-economic duty". Government Equalities Office. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  17. ^ age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation
  18. ^ s 13 direct discrimination, s 14 discrimination arising from disability, s 15 gender reassignment discrimination: cases of absence from work, s 16 pregnancy and maternity discrimination: non-work cases, s 17 pregnancy and maternity discrimination: work cases, s 18 indirect discrimination; Adjustments for disabled persons: s 19 duty to make adjustments, s 20 failure to comply with duty, s 21 regulations, s 22 comparison by reference to circumstances, s 23 references to particular strands of discrimination, s 24 harassment, s 25 victimisation
  19. ^ Employees: s 36 Employees and applicants, s 37 Employees and applicants: harassment, s 38 contract workers; Police officers: s 39 identity of employer, s 40 interpretation; Partners: s 41, partnerships, s 42 limited liability partnerships, s 43 interpretation; The Bar: s 44 barristers, s 45 advocates; Office holders: s 46 personal offices, s 47 public offices: appointments, etc, s 48 public offices: recommendations for appointments, etc., s 49 interpretation and exceptions; Qualifications: s 50 qualification bodies, s 51 interpretation; Employment services: s 52 employment service providers, s 53 interpretation; Trade organisations: s 54 trade organisations; Local authority members: s 55 official business of members, s 56 interpretation
  20. ^ s 57 Non-discrimination rule, s 58 Communications
  21. ^ Sex equality: s 59 Relevant types of work, s 60 Equal work, s 61 Sex equality clause, s 62 Sex equality rule, s 63 Sex equality rule: consequential alteration of schemes, s 64 Defence of material factor, s 65 Exclusion of sex discrimination provisions, s 66 Sex discrimination in relation to contractual pay; Pregnancy and maternity equality: s 67 Relevant types of work, s 68 Maternity equality clause, s 69 Maternity equality clause: pay, s 70 Maternity equality rule, s 71 Exclusion of pregnancy and maternity discrimination provisions; Disclosure of information: s 72 Discussions with colleagues, s 73 Gender pay gap information; Supplementary: s 74 Colleagues, s 75 Interpretation and exceptions
  22. ^ s 76 Ships and hovercraft, s 77 Offshore work, s 78 Interpretation and exceptions
  23. ^ s 182, reasonable adjustments; s 183 improvements to let dwelling houses
  24. ^ statutory provisions, national security, charities, sport, general, age

References[edit]

External links[edit]



Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equality_Act_2010 — Please support Wikipedia.
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156 news items

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 06:17:12 -0700

The site - run on behalf of the DWP - said a 'justification' would be needed for exempting the ad from the Equality Act 2010, passed to protect against discrimination. Mr Scully said he was 'stunned' by their query, which he branded 'a ridiculous ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 23:22:30 -0700

It's an issue that deeply affects our readers, which is why we launched a petition calling for a piece of legislation proposed by the last Labour government (Section 78 of the Equality Act 2010) to be enacted. This would mean businesses that employ ...
 
Mondaq News Alerts (registration)
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 09:18:45 -0700

However, generally, if the comments are likely to offend someone, especially where they are linked to a 'protected characteristic' (defined in the Equality Act 2010 as things like race, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender ...

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 04:48:45 -0700

A recent ruling from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission has stated that the use of all-female shortlists for positions is illegal. The report was commissioned by Business Secretary Vince Cable who had hoped to implement female-only shortlists ...
 
Law Gazette
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:15:00 -0700

The centre argued that the authority had not considered the impact on disabled people adequately and had failed to comply with legal duties under the Equality Act 2010. The authority reinstated travel concessions for disabled people and introduced a ...

SmallBusiness.co.uk

SmallBusiness.co.uk
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 04:37:30 -0700

Bear in mind that mental ill-health conditions are capable of being a disability under the Equality Act 2010 so into protections against discrimination are often triggered. The cause of a mental ill-health condition could be completely unrelated to the ...
 
Lexology (registration)
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:15:00 -0700

In the UK, the Equality Act 2010, implements the Directive and provides that a person has a disability for discrimination purposes if they have a “physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ...
 
The HR Director Magazine
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 04:02:21 -0700

HR Legal Update - Draft Equality Act 2010 (Equal Pay Audits) Regulations 2014 published. S.98 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (ERRA 2013) inserted a new S.139A into the Equality Act 2010... Share | ...
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