Equality Act 2010


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Overview of the main changes resulting from the Equality Act 2010

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Equality Act 2010

  1. 1. The Equality Act 2010 25 June 2010
  2. 2. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>2 main purposes of the Act: </li></ul><ul><li>To harmonise discrimination law </li></ul><ul><li>To strengthen the law to progress on equality </li></ul><ul><li>..resulting in general benefits to the economy </li></ul><ul><li>[16 Parts, 28 Schedules, 218 Sections!] </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>In summary: </li></ul><ul><li>New socio-economic duty (public bodies) </li></ul><ul><li>Widens scope for voluntary positive actions </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated equality duty – to include procurement activities </li></ul><ul><li>Empower tribunals to make wider recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>New PCs: gender reassignment and pregnancy/maternity </li></ul><ul><li>Dual discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Widens scope of age discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Power to require gender pay gap reporting (private sector) </li></ul><ul><li>Extends protection against harassment outside the workplace </li></ul>Equality Act 2010
  4. 4. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>The new ‘socio-economic duty’ - will it survive? </li></ul><ul><li>Public bodies (not direct to front-line services) </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic decisions </li></ul><ul><li>To consider how decisions might help to reduce inequalities associated with socio-economic disadvantage </li></ul><ul><li>Judicial review </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul>
  5. 5. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>The Protected Characteristics: </li></ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul><ul><li>Disability (changed) </li></ul><ul><li>Gender reassignment (changed) </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage and civil partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Race (including caste – new) </li></ul><ul><li>Religion or belief </li></ul><ul><li>Sex </li></ul><ul><li>Pregnancy/maternity </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual orientation </li></ul>
  6. 6. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Gender reassignment </li></ul><ul><li>No longer required to be under medical supervision </li></ul><ul><li>Where a person has proposed, started or completed a process to change sex </li></ul><ul><li>Caste discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Power to add ‘caste’ to definition of ‘race’ </li></ul><ul><li>Arguably already included </li></ul><ul><li>National Institute of Economic and Social Research </li></ul>
  7. 7. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Pregnancy and maternity discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Extended to non-work cases: in relation to public functions, education and to associations </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul>
  8. 8. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Simplifying & standardising definitions and concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Direct discrimination: association and perception </li></ul><ul><li>Uniform definition of indirect discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>No need for comparator in all victimisation claims </li></ul><ul><li>Extends protection from discrimination </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Direct Discrimination - Association and Perception </li></ul><ul><li>Occurs where A treats B less favourably than others ‘because of’ a protected characteristic </li></ul><ul><li>Exception: in marital or civil partnership cases, the PC must be that of the complainant </li></ul><ul><li>Protection extended to apply in areas where it does not exist </li></ul><ul><li>Harassment as well </li></ul>Equality Act 2010
  10. 10. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Definition of ‘Indirect Discrimination’ </li></ul><ul><li>“ Where a policy disadvantages a group of people with a PC, a person in that group is indirectly discriminated against if they are put at that disadvantage unless policy can be justified…. </li></ul><ul><li>...i.e. if it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim” </li></ul><ul><li>Harmonised </li></ul><ul><li>Extended to disability and gender reassignment </li></ul><ul><li>But not pregnancy/maternity </li></ul>
  11. 11. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Dual Discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Claims in relation to combination of two PCs </li></ul><ul><li>Where single strand unlikely to succeed </li></ul><ul><li>Not marriage and civil partnership or pregnancy/maternity discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><li>NB. Public sector equality duty: due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful dual discrimination </li></ul>
  12. 12. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Disability Discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Definition </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-employment health enquiries </li></ul><ul><li>Discrimination arising from disability </li></ul><ul><li>… and indirect discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable adjustments </li></ul>
  13. 13. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Pre-employment health enquiries </li></ul><ul><li>The rule: ban on making enquiries </li></ul><ul><li>The 6 exceptions </li></ul>
  14. 14. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Discrimination arising from disability </li></ul><ul><li>“ Where a disabled person is treated unfavourably because of something arising form, or in consequence of their disability, unless treatment can be justified… </li></ul><ul><li>… i.e. if the treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim” </li></ul><ul><li>Post- Malcolm </li></ul><ul><li>No need for a comparator </li></ul><ul><li>.. and disability covered by indirect discrimination.. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul>
  15. 15. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Reasonable adjustments </li></ul><ul><li>Taking reasonable steps to provide auxiliary aids </li></ul><ul><li>Including the provision of information in accessible format </li></ul>
  16. 16. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Equal Pay – most in need of reform, but least reformed! </li></ul><ul><li>Secrecy clauses </li></ul><ul><li>- Not allowed to discuss pay with colleagues unless discussion aimed at establishing if discrimination (‘relevant pay disclosure’) </li></ul><ul><li>Gender pay reporting – which way will the Government go? </li></ul><ul><li>Power to make regulations requiring private sector employers 250+ employees to publish information </li></ul><ul><li>Compulsory pay audits or only when lose at ET? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Positive Action </li></ul><ul><li>Permits positive action in recruitment and promotion </li></ul><ul><li>In specific situations – limited scope </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary </li></ul><ul><li>Coalition Government’s approach? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Public Sector Equality Duty </li></ul><ul><li>New single equality duty </li></ul><ul><li>All PCs except marriage and civil partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Due regard to the need to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations </li></ul><ul><li>Provides significant rationalisation benefits.. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Territorial jurisdiction </li></ul><ul><li>Employees employed in Great Britain at the time of dismissal </li></ul><ul><li>Expatriate employees, e.g. foreign correspondents, or working in British enclave </li></ul><ul><li>Narrower scope </li></ul>
  20. 20. Equality Act 2010 <ul><li>Enforcement and Remedies </li></ul><ul><li>Tribunal can make recommendations to benefit wider workforce and help prevent discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Does not apply to equal pay claims </li></ul><ul><li>***** </li></ul><ul><li>Burden of proof: employee has to establish prima facie case, then employer has to prove not guilty </li></ul><ul><li>Drawing inferences </li></ul>
  21. 21. Contact: <ul><li>Sarah Pugh </li></ul><ul><li>WH Law LLP Solicitors </li></ul><ul><li>Finch House </li></ul><ul><li>28-30 Wolverhampton Street </li></ul><ul><li>Dudley </li></ul><ul><li>West Midlands DY1 1DB </li></ul><ul><li>Tel.: 01384 453383 </li></ul><ul><li>Email: sepugh@whlawllp.co.uk </li></ul>