Equality Act 2010 explained by Peninsula

5th of January, 2011 Bookmark and Share

PC doesn't just mean Politically Correct

The Equality Act 2010 covers the same traits that are protected by current discrimination laws, including disability, age, race, gender reassignment, sex, sexual orientation, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity; these are called "protected characteristics" or "PCs". In addition, it now affords some protections to groups not previously covered, and strengthens certain facets of discrimination law.

Although some rights and responsibilities, listed below, have changed, been added to, or are appearing for the first time, businesses will be glad to discover most of the fundamental principles of discrimination legislation are to remain the same.

Changes in employment law

Alterations to the law include the condition that employees can complain of harassment even if it is not aimed at them, for example, if they can demonstrate that it creates an environment offensive to them.

Extensions to the law include associative discrimination, or direct discrimination against an employee or colleague because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic. Sex, sexual orientation, religion and belief, gender reassignment, age and disability are protected by this extension.

Discrimination arising from disability is a concept newly added to the law, which forbids unfavourable treatment of disabled workers as a result of something arising from their disability.

Peninsula can help

The purpose of the Equality Act 2010 is to create legislative framework to defend the rights of all individuals and simplify existing legislation. Bearing this in mind Peninsula is advising employers and businesses to review and implement their policies now. Dealing with any issues the Act may raise in advance could help prevent a costly employment tribunal in the future.

For further advice on the Equality Act 2010 or any other employment law help, please contact Peninsula. We are the UK's leading provider of employment law and health and safety services. Established since 1983, we have over 25,000 companies who have now integrated Peninsula to work as part of their HR and Health and Safety departments. With head offices in Manchester, Peninsula employs 900 people across the UK and Ireland.

If you are a member of the media and need any further assistance, would like to discuss case studies for a particular feature, or be added to our media contact list, feel free to contact Sammual-James McLoughlin, Head of Media, Press and Public Relations at Peninsula Business Services.

Sammual-James McLoughlin
Sammual-James McLoughlin is Head of Media, Press & Public Relations at Peninsula Business Services. If you are a member of the media and need any further assistance, or want to be added to our media contact list, feel free to contact me.