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The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 is the principle anti-discrimination law in the UK. The law defines the “Protected Characteristics” or the equality groups which are protected in law, and how each of these is defined. The 9 protected characteristics are:

Discrimination and unlawful conduct 

All of our team and colleagues-in-training should work to ensure any of the below never happen:

  • Direct discrimation (including by association and perception)
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Failure to provide a disability reasonable adjustment
  • Discrimination arising from a disability
  • Harassment (including by association and perception)
  • Victimisation

The Equality Act provides protections in the following areas:

  • As an employee
  • As a student in education
  • As a Service User of a public service
  • As a Customer of a public service

The law also provides a number of exemptions, such as when providing single sex facilities, or age based restrictions; and it includes a number of duties that public bodies must comply with.

The Public Sector Equality Duty

As a public body, we are obliged to comply with the Public Sector Equality duties. The Public Sector Equality Duty requires that when Lead Employer make decisions, that due regard for how those decisions impact on equality must be considered, specifically asking:

  • Is there any unlawful discrimination, and how can that be eliminated?
  • Can we advance equality of opportunity / promote equality between different equality groups?
  • Can we foster good relations between different equality groups?

Completing this process may also be termed an Equality Impact Assessment/Equality Analysis.