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Equality and diversity

Equality Act

The majority of the Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010, providing protection from discrimination on the basis of 'protected characteristics'. The Equality Act covers the same groups that were protected by existing equality legislation - age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

The purpose of the Equality Act is to bring together all anti-discrimination legislation to harmonise and strengthen the law to support progress on equality. The nine main pieces of legislation that have been replaced by the Equality Act are:

  • 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
  • Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
  • Equality Act 2006 (Part 2)
  • Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007

The Equality Act also includes the Public Sector Equality Duty which replaces the separate duties relating to Race, Gender and Disability.

Last updated Monday, 14th December 2015

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