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The equality bill received royal assent of 8 April 2010, becoming the Equality Act 2010. It came into effect in October 2010. The Aim of the Act is to reform and harmonise discrimination law, bringing together previous legislation and to strengthen it to support progress on equality.
The Equality Act 2010 replaced, among others, the Disability Discrimination Act (the 'DDA') and also the Race Relations Act.
The Equality Act brings in protected characteristics as the grounds upon which discrimination is unlawful with respect to employment, education, training and the provision of goods and services. The protected characteristics under the Act are:
For more information, support and guidance around any of the areas covered by the protected characteristics visit our equality issues pages.
For a more detailed summary of the changes to the legislation and the implications for the University, including the definitions of the types of discrimination and specific issues relating to particular characteristics, refer to the document below:
The Equality Act 2010 brought in a new Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) which consists of general and specific duties. It became law on 5 April 2011.
The general duty covers all protected characteristics apart from marriage and civil partnership and has three aims. It requires us as a higher education institution to have due regard to the need to:
Having due regard means consciously thinking about the three aims of the general duty as part of the process of decision making.
Any third parties exercising public functions are required to comply with the duty. The duty rests with the University even if we have delegated any functions to a third party.
The specific duties regulations require higher education institutions to publish the following:
The information that higher education institutions are required to publish must relate to employees and others affected by their policies and practices, such as students and other service users, who share a relevant protected characteristic.