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The Equality Act 2010 ("the Act") brings together and replaces previous legislation (such as the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995). Most of the Act came into effect in October 2010. This guidance note covers the main changes coming into effect, offering a general overview of the Act and how it specifically affects employees.
The Act is largely beneficial as it simplifies the law and ensures consistency to allow employees to be aware of their rights. The Act covers the same groups that were protected by the previous equality legislation; age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and, pregnancy and maternity.
However, these groups have now been renamed as "protected characteristics" and the Act has added further protection to some of the protected characteristics which was lacking in previous legislation. Protected characteristics will be discussed in more detail later in this guidance note.
We have a great deal of experience when it comes to providing legal advice to people who have faced, or are facing discrimination at work, from other colleagues or directly from their employer. Our employment solicitors have been providing advice to employees for over 30 years and in that time they have seen and dealt with most employment scenarios. We offer up to 10 minutes free initial legal advice so call us now on 0151 239 1000 or fill in an enquiry form on our website and one of our Employment Solicitors will call you back.