The Equality Act 2010 replaced previous anti-discrimination law to simplify the law and remove inconsistencies. The act strengthened protection against discrimination in some areas.
The act covers nine protected characteristics which cannot be used as reasons to discriminate against people, these are:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
An overview of the act and its implications for higher education as at Autumn 2010 can be found as an In Practice article by Simonetta Manfredi and Diane Bebbington.
The provisions of the act are being brought into force at different times with the aim of allowing organisations affected by the new law time to prepare. The specific duties are now in force in England, Wales and Scotland. These are in place to help public bodies perform the public sector equality duty by requiring them to publish relevant information showing compliance with the equality duty and set equality objectives. Further information on the Equality Act and the Statutory Instruments is available at: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/equalities/equality-act/
For updates on the implications of the act for higher education, see: www.ecu.ac.uk/subjects/equality-act-2010