The Equality Act 2010. Sandra Beaufoy HR Adviser, Equality and Diversity. Background to the Equality Act 2010. Consolidates nine separate pieces of anti-discrimination legislation into a Single Act Streamlines and simplifies existing protection into one place.
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The Equality Act 2010 Sandra Beaufoy HR Adviser, Equality and Diversity
Background to the Equality Act 2010 • Consolidates nine separate pieces of anti-discrimination legislation into a Single Act • Streamlines and simplifies existing protection into one place. • Lack of progress in Great Britain on equality
What does the Equality Act do? • Updates and amends existing strands of anti-discrimination law. • Creates a new Single Equality Duty on public bodies (including HEIs) • Supports equal pay and removal of secrecy clause in discussing pay
What else does the Equality Act do? • Changes - definition of direct discrimination, and of specific protected characteristics • Extended protection for disabled people • Breastfeeding now explicitly protected. • Extends the scope for positive action
What else does the Equality Act do? • New protection on grounds of pregnancy & maternity • Limitations on the use of health related questions during recruitment & selection • Wider equality objectives – in tenders • New protection from third party harassment
What is the Equality Duty? Equality duty is a duty on public bodies, including HEIs and others carrying out public functions. Consists of a general duty, with 3 main aims – came into force 1st October 2010 And specific duties, which are intended to help public bodies meet the general duty – came into force 10th September 2011
Protected Characteristics • Age • Disability • Gender Reassignment • Race • Religion or Belief (includes lack of belief) • Sex • Sexual Orientation • Pregnancy and Maternity • Marriage and civil partnership
General Duty – 3 main aims It requires HEIs to have due regard to the need to: • Combat discrimination, victimisation and harassment • Promote equality of opportunity • Foster good relations
How to demonstrate due regard Consider the three aims of the general duty when making decisions as employers and education and service providers; e.g: • When developing, evaluating and reviewing policies • Designing, delivering and evaluating services • Commissioning and procuring services from others
The Specific Duties General duty underpinned by a number of specific duties: Publish annually information to demonstrate compliance with the Equality Duty by 31 January 2012 Publish at least every four years, one or more specific and measurable equality objective – 6 April 2012
Types of Discrimination covered by the Act • Direct discrimination • by association • by perception • the discriminator’s characteristics • Indirect discrimination • Combined discrimination/dual characteristics – not yet in force
What this means for the University Review/revise all policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Act which will include undertaking equality analysis (EIAs) Review Single Equality Scheme/Action Plan Consult and communicate changes/ actions to departments
What this means for the University Prepare and publish information on: • Effect of policies and practices • Evidence of equality analysis undertaken • Equality objectives • Details of engagement undertaken