As promised in Issue 37 of the Bottom Line Express, the Masterclass in this Issue confirms the implementation of various core provisions of the Equality Act 2010 with effect from 1st October 2010 and summarises some provisions that will or may come into force at a later date.
The first wave of implementation of the Equality Act took place as expected on 1st October 2010, when the vast majority of the Acts provisions came into force.
Summary of Employment Provisions which came into force on 1st October 2010
• The basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
• Levelling up of protection for people discriminated against because they are perceived to have, or are associated with someone who has, a protected characteristic
• Consistent definition of indirect discrimination across all protected characteristics.
• Extending protection from indirect discrimination to disability.
• Introduction of a new concept of “discrimination arising from disability”, to replace protection under previous legislation lost as a result of case law.
• Applying the detriment model to victimisation protection (aligning with the approach in employment law).
• Extending protection from 3rd party harassment to all protected characteristics.
• Making it more difficult for disabled people to be unfairly screened out when applying for jobs, by restricting the circumstances in which employers can ask job applicants questions about disability or health.
• Allowing hypothetical comparators for direct gender pay discrimination.
• Making pay secrecy clauses unenforceable.
• Change to the definition of gender reassignment, by removing the requirement for medical supervision.
• Introducing new powers for employment tribunals to make recommendations which benefit the wider workforce.
Not all of the provisions contained in the Equality Act 2010 were brought into force on 1st October 2010. The Government is still considering how and when to implement a number of other provisions, including the following employment-related provisions:
• introduction of new prohibition on dual discrimination (i.e. discrimination against a person because of a combination of two protected characteristics, for example race and gender)
• requirement for employers to publish gender pay gap information
• widening of positive action in recruitment and promotion
Naturally, future Issues of the Bottom Line Express will keep you updated with developments in this regard.
For more information or advice on the Equality Act, call the Employment Law Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.