MINELRES: ERT Legislation Watch: British Equality Act Adopted
Mon Apr 12 19:40:20 2010
Original sender: Equal Rights Trust <email@example.com>
United Kingdom Passes New Equality Act
Friday, 9 April 2010
On 8 April 2010, the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament passed the Equality
Act 2010. The Act harmonises existing equality law which previously had
been spread across numerous separate pieces of legislation.
The new Equality Act not only combines existing equality legislation
into a single comprehensive Act but levels up protection for several
grounds of discrimination such as age, disability, gender reassignment,
religion or belief and sexual orientation. The Act provides protection
from discrimination in employment, access to services and public
functions, housing, education and health.
Some of the most notable aspects of the Equality Act 2010 include:
• The introduction of a new public sector duty related to socio-economic
• The prohibition of combined (multiple) discrimination, although this
is limited to cases relating to direct discrimination on two grounds of
• The extended protection from discrimination on grounds of gender
reassignment to school pupils;
• The creation of a unified public sector duty, intended to promote
equality in public policy and decision-making, whereby the existing
provisions have been extended to the protected grounds of sexual
orientation, age and religion or belief;
• The provision for legislation requiring that employers review gender
pay differences within their organisations and publish the results;
• The extension of the period for which all-women shortlists may be used
for parliamentary and other elections until 2030; the Act also allows
parties to reserve places on shortlists of candidates for people on the
grounds of race or disability.
The Act represents a significant victory for equality organisations in
the UK who have worked tirelessly to secure a strong and comprehensive
single piece of legislation. ERT contributed to this process by making
submissions to the Equality Bill’s Public Committee and to the
Government at various times.
Speaking about the recent development, ERT’s Executive Director
Dimitrina Petrova said:
“We welcome the new Equality Act. Since 2000, when a review headed by
ERT Chair Professor Sir Bob Hepple Q.C. was published and triggered the
process of equality reform, equality lawyers and activists have been
campaigning for this Act. We shall advocate the enforcement and the full
and effective implementation of the Act’s provisions.“
To read the Equality Act 2010, click here:
To read ERT’s full submission to the Public Bill Committee, click here:
To read ERT’s full response to the Multiple Discrimination consultation,
The Equal Rights Trust is an independent international organisation
whose purpose is to combat discrimination and promote equality as a
fundamental human right and a basic principle of social justice.
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