In the July edition of Bite Size we reported that the Government Equalities Office (GEO) had stated that the vast majority of the Equality Act 2010 will come into force as planned next month. The GEO has now published a list of the provisions of the Act which will come into force on 1 October. As expected, this first wave of implementation will include the majority of the Act's provisions.

Also published are the provisions which the government is still considering how to implement "in the best way for business and for others with rights and responsibilities under the Act". These include:

  • The prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of combined protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation).
  • Provisions relating to the duty to make reasonable adjustments by providing auxiliary aids in schools.
  • The prohibition on age discrimination in services and public functions.
  • Duty of employers to disclose gender pay gap information.
  • Provisions relating to the prohibition of positive discrimination in recruitment and promotion.
  • The duty on public authorities to reduce the inequalities resulting from socio-economic disadvantage.

Furthermore, the GEO has published a consultation on its proposals for regulations on the duties aimed at helping public bodies to meet the requirements of the general equality duty, which closes on 10 November 2010.

The consultation document states that the coalition government will adopt a different approach in implementing the Equality Act 2010 in line with its aims of reducing regulation and increasing accountability and transparency in government. For example, the requirement of public bodies to include equality-related conditions in their procurement contracts has been deemed unnecessary given that the increased level of transparency will ensure the same outcome as a full implementation of the Equality Act 2010.

Bite Size will continue to update with further developments. Our next HR Forum session looks at the impact the Act will have on employment practices. Places on every session are now limited but please follow this link for details and how to book