The long awaited Equality Bill has finally been published, and the Government is aiming for this to come into force during the autumn of 2010.

The Bill has two main purposes. Firstly it aims to combine and harmonise discrimination law, and secondly to strengthen the law to support progress on equality. The Bill brings together and re-states the existing discrimination legislation concerning sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief and age, and seeks to adopt a single approach where appropriate.

Some of the more significant changes to the law include new approaches to disability-related and indirect disability discrimination, extended coverage of third-party harassment and a new law prohibiting pay secrecy clauses in employment contracts.

Please note that some provisions of this Bill may change following subsequent Parliamentary debates.