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Equality Act 2010


The Equality Act 2010 is a comprehensive piece of legislation enacted by the United Kingdom Parliament with the aim of promoting equality, protecting individuals from discrimination, and fostering a fair and inclusive society.

The Act consolidates and strengthens previous anti-discrimination laws in the UK, providing a legal framework to protect individuals from discrimination and promote equality. It covers a wide range of areas, including employment, education, housing, public services, and access to goods and services.

The Act also identifies nine protected characteristics that are safeguarded against discrimination. These include age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. Discrimination based on any of these characteristics is prohibited in various contexts.

Furthermore, the Act addresses different forms of discrimination, including direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment, victimisation, and failure to make reasonable adjustments for individuals with disabilities. It prohibits unjustifiable treatment and aims to ensure fair and equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their protected characteristics.

Additionally, the Act imposes a duty on public authorities to actively promote equality and eliminate discrimination. Public bodies are required to consider equality issues when making policies, delivering services, and undertaking decision-making processes. This duty encourages public institutions to advance equality and foster inclusive practices.

Lastly, the Act promotes equality in the workplace by prohibiting discrimination in recruitment, terms and conditions, promotions, and dismissals based on protected characteristics. It also requires employers to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities and addresses issues of pay equity and maternity rights.

The Equality Act 2010 was passed on the 8th of April 2010.

The Equality Act 2010 applies to there following countries:

  • United Kingdom; 
  • England; 
  • Scotland; 
  • Wales; and 
  • Northern Ireland. 

Does the Equality Act 2010 affect my business?

The Equality Act 2010 has impacts on various areas of society in general, but all businesses should be aware that several provisions will impact equality in the workplace, and will therefore be affected by the Act.

The Equality Act 2010 has significantly influenced employment practices, fostering fair and inclusive workplaces. Employers are required to ensure equal opportunities, prevent discrimination, and accommodate individuals with disabilities. The Act also addresses issues of equal pay, maternity and parental rights, and protection against workplace harassment and victimization.

The Act promotes equality in educational institutions, ensuring that students are treated fairly and have equal access to educational opportunities. Schools, colleges, and universities are obligated to prevent discrimination, promote inclusivity, and make reasonable adjustments for disabled students.

Furthermore, the Act prohibits discrimination in housing and ensures equal access to housing, including rental properties, social housing, and buying and selling homes. Landlords and housing providers are required to adhere to anti-discrimination laws and provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

Lastly, the Act ensures that individuals receive fair treatment and equal access to public services, such as healthcare, transportation, and government services. Service providers, including shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, are prohibited from discriminating against individuals based on protected characteristics.

Do I need the Equality Act 2010 in my ISO Compliance Register?

As seen above, the affects of the Equality Act 2010 are far-reaching, with all business and organisation types having some form of requirements or compliance obligations. Therefore, you will need the Equality Act 2010 in your ISO Compliance Register.

Legislation related to the Equality Act 2010

Legislation related to the Equality Act 2010 include:

  • The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017
  • Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023
  • National Minimum Wage Act 1998
  • Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • Human Rights Act 1998

More information

Visit the Equality Act 2010 article on the website.

Create an account in the ISO Compliance Register App and add this article to your Register.