Equality Act 2010

  • Gov Legislation
  • Author:UK Government
  • Published:June 2015 (Last updated)
  • Country: United Kingdom

Equality Act 2010: guidance

Information and guidance on the Equality Act 2010, including age discrimination and public sector Equality Duty.

Published by: Government Equalities Office and Equality and Human Rights Commission
Published on 27 February 2013 and last updated on 16 June 2015

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.

It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone.

Who is protected by the Equality Act 2010

Types of discrimination (‘protected characteristics’)

It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of:

  • age
  • gender reassignment
  • being married or in a civil partnership
  • being pregnant or on maternity leave
  • disability
  • race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

You’re protected from discrimination:

  • at work
  • in education
  • as a consumer
  • when using public services
  • when buying or renting a property
  • as a member or guest of a private club or association

You’re legally protected from discrimination by the Equality Act 2010.

You’re also protected from discrimination if:

  • you’re associated with someone who has a protected characteristic, for example, a family member or friend
  • you’ve complained about discrimination or supported someone else’s claim

Types of discrimination covered by the Equality Act 2010

How you can be discriminated against?

Discrimination can come in one of the following forms:

  • direct discrimination – treating someone with a protected characteristic less favourably than others
  • indirect discrimination – putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage
  • harassment – unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them
  • victimisation – treating someone unfairly because they’ve complained about discrimination or harassment

Take a look at the full article on the guidance for the Equality Act 2010 on the government website here.

Equality Act 2010
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