The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 has brought together all the previous existing equality statutory instruments under one heading and simplified issues pertaining to issues of inequalities. It has simplified the law, removed inconsistencies and made it easier to be understood. Additionally the law has also been strengthened so that individuals and organisations can tackle issues around discrimination and Inequality.
The Equality Act covers the groups that were previously protected by existing equality legislation, however it has also been broadened to cover other “protected characteristics”
- Disability (linked to any aspect of inequalities associated as a result of any disability)
- Gender reassignment
- Transgender people (transgender is where someone has changed, is changing or has proposed changing their sex – called ‘gender reassignment’ in law)
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation ( refers to individuals being lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual)
- Marriage and civil partnership and
- Pregnancy and maternity
The Act also strengthens particular aspects of equality law addressing concerns of individuals that were not covered before.