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Government outlines October Equality Act provisions

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With the Equality Act being rolled out in just a few weeks, the government has confirmed which regulations will be immediately be enforced on businesses throughout the country.

From October 1st, direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in services and public functions, premises, work, education, associations, and transport will all be targeted by the biggest employment legislation change in a generation.

A full list of the Act’s consequences includes:

• Changing the definition of gender reassignment, by removing the requirement for medical supervision.

• Levelling up protection for people discriminated against because they are perceived to have, or are associated with someone who has, a protected characteristic, so providing new protection for people like carers.

• Clearer protection for breastfeeding mothers.

• Applying the European definition of indirect discrimination to all protected characteristics.

• Extending protection from indirect discrimination to disability.

• Introducing a new concept of ‘discrimination arising from disability’, to replace protection under previous legislation lost as a result of a legal judgment.

• Harmonising the thresholds for the duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

• Extending protection from third party harassment to all protected characteristics.

• Making it more difficult for disabled people to be unfairly screened out when applying for jobs, by restricting the circumstances in which employers can ask job applicants questions about disability or health.

• Allowing hypothetical comparators for direct gender pay discrimination.

• Making pay secrecy clauses unenforceable.

• Introducing new powers for Employment Tribunals to make recommendations which benefit the wider workforce.

While the government mulls over further changes, including positive action in recruitment, dual discrimination, gender pay gaps and more, employers will have their hands full making sure business practices fall in line with upcoming demands.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

October 2, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn, New Law

Tagged with , , ,

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