Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act gives the UK a single Act of Parliament, requiring equal treatment in access to employment as well as private and public services, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, maternity or pregnancy, race, religion or belief, gender and sexual orientation. These are defined as the "9 protected characteristics"
The Equality Act aims to simplify the law by bringing together several pieces of anti-discrimination legislation. It replaces the following employment legislation:
- Equal Pay Act 1070
- 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 2006, Part 2
- Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007
The Equality Act requires all public bodies including NHS institutions to publish information by 31st January 2012 complying with the need to eliminate harassment, advance equal opportunities and foster good relations between different groups. All public bodies are also required to produce a set of equality objectives by 6 April 2012. The NHS Equality Delivery System has been designed by the NHS Equality and Diversity Council to help the NHS to embed equality and diversity within its mainstream processes.