The majority of the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 came into force on 1 October 2010. (Please see our July 2010 newsletter.) The Act harmonises and codifies UK equality and discrimination legislation. One of the main reasons for harmonisation was to create as consistent an approach as possible to the different strands of discrimination. The key provisions are:
- the framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in services and public functions, premises, work, education, associations and transport;
- the new concept of ‘discrimination arising from disability’;
- preventing employers from asking pre-employment health questions, except in certain specified circumstances;
- making pay secrecy clauses unenforceable;
- new powers for employment tribunals to make recommendations on the workforce as a whole; and
- allowing voluntary positive action.