On 8 April 2010 the Equality Act received Royal Assent after completing its parliamentary process on 6 April when MPs approved all the Lords amendments. The Equality Act contains a series of measures for tackling inequalities which the Equality and Human Rights Commission considers will help Britain to become a fairer society.
Some of the specific measures in the bill, which the Commission has supported, include:
Making the law easier to understand and implement by simplifying 116 pieces of equality legislation into a single Act for individuals, public authorities and private organisations.
Giving people the right not to be treated less favourably by public authorities because of their age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or transgender status; as well as their disability, gender, or race which were already covered.*
Extending anti-age discrimination rules to include goods, facilities and services, thereby stopping people being unfairly refused insurance or medical treatments based on what age they are, for example.
Trevor Phillips, chair of the Commission said:
“Simplifying legislation and extending protection to a wide range of groups that face discrimination will help Britain become a fairer society, improve public services, and help business perform well.
“The Commission’s role now is to make sure the legislation works in practice, by explaining what it means, how it should work, and ultimately, using our powers to help right any wrongs.
“We’re already working on Codes and Guidance that set out what the new legislation does for employers, public services and the people of Britain.”
Guidance: Equality Act 2010
Here you will find guidance and good practice to help you understand and use forthcoming Equality Act law. We currently have guidance for employers, workers, service users and service providers.
View the guidance on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.