Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Before 2010, there were many different Acts (laws) and Regulations (rules) in Great Britain which protected against different kinds of discrimination. The Equality Act's goal was to put all of these laws and protections together into one law, and make it easier to understand.
What laws were put together? change
All of these laws were put together to make the Equality Act:
- The Equal Pay Act 1970, which said that men and women doing the same kind of work should get the same pay. It also said that men and women should be treated equally at work
- The Sex Discrimination Act 1975, which protected against discrimination because of sex or whether or not a person was married
- The Race Relations Act 1976, which protected against discrimination because of race, skin colour, nationality, ethnicity, and national origin (home country)
- The Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which protected against discrimination because of disability
- Three major laws that protected against discrimination at work because of a person's religion, sexual orientation, or age
What does the Equality Act say? change
The Equality Act has the same goals as the four major European Union Equal Treatment Directives (laws made by the European Union that protect against discrimination).
The Equality Act protects against discrimination because of:
- Gender (with special protections for pregnant women)
- Being transgender and having had gender reassignment surgery
- Being married or in a civil partnership
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
The Act says that all of these groups must be treated equally at work, when applying for jobs, and in private and public services.
People with disabilities have special protections under the Act. The Act says that employers and service providers (like stores or schools) have to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities if needed. Reasonable accommodations are changes to places or ways of doing things that help people with disabilities do their jobs, go to school, and do other important things just like people without disabilities can. Accommodations do not have to be made if they are not reasonable (if they would be very expensive or difficult to make).
Most of the Equality Act does not apply to Northern Ireland.