The Government has announced that the "vast majority" of the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 will come into force on 1 October 2010. It has published a list of key provisions coming into force then that includes:
- The basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
- 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 (potentially providing new protection, for example, for 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 address the issues caused by the judgment in the Malcolm case;
- Harmonising the thresholds for the duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people;
- Extending protection from third party harassment to all protected characteristics;
- Significantly restricting the circumstances in which pre-employment health questions will be permitted.
- Allowing hypothetical comparators for direct gender pay discrimination;
- Making pay secrecy clauses unenforceable;
- Introducing new powers for employment tribunals to make wider recommendations in discrimination claims; and
- Harmonising provisions allowing voluntary positive action.
In addition, the coalition Government's announcement refers to parts of the Equality Act that remain under consideration. These include:
- Dual or combined discrimination;
- Gender pay gap information;
- Positive action in recruitment and promotion; and
- The socio-economic duty on public authorities.