The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 protects different groups from discrimination. The Act replaced nine pieces of legislation. These are:

  • Equal Pay Act (1970)
  • Sex Discrimination Act (1975)
  • Race Relations Act (1976)
  • Disability Discrimination Act (1995)
  • Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations (2003)
  • Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (2003)
  • Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (2006)
  • Equality Act Part 2 (2006)
  • Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (2007)

The Citizens Advice Bureau provides additional guidance on what you need to know about the Equality Act.

Protected Characteristics

The Equality Act seeks to ensure people are not discriminated against because of certain characteristics. These are known as 'protected characteristics' and there are nine of these in total:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Sex
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sexual Orientation

We also provide more information about the legal implications of the Equality Act for people with disabilities.

Public sector bodies are required to demonstrate their compliance with the Equality Act through the public sector equality duty. As part of this, we have set new equality objectives for 2021 to 2026.

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