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What is the Equality Act 2010?

Lead consultant at Test Partnership, Ben Schwencke, explains the Equality Act 2010.

1:09 Quickly understand what the Equality Act 2010 is.

The Equality Act 2010 is a UK law that provides protection against discrimination, harassment, and victimisation on the grounds of specific legally protected characteristics, including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. The act applies to all areas of life, including employment, education, goods, facilities, and services, housing, and private clubs. It also created new protected characteristics and strengthened the law on others, such as introducing the concept of “dual discrimination”.

In the workplace, employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and are not discriminated against because of any of these protected characteristics. Employers also have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled employees are not at a disadvantage. This right also extends to job candidates who apply for roles in UK companies. Consequently, organisations must ensure that selection decisions do not negatively impact people based on these protected characteristics, and that reasonable adjustments are applied throughout the selection process when required.