Equality Act 2010
Equality Act 2010: guidance
Information and guidance on the Equality Act 2010, including age discrimination and public sector Equality Duty.
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:
- gender reassignment
- being married or in a civil partnership
- being pregnant or on maternity leave
- race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
- religion or belief
- 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
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