The Government Equalities Office has now clarified exactly which provisions of the Equality Act 2010 will come into force on 1 October. The list posted on the GEO website makes it clear that the vast majority of the Act's provisions will take effect on that date. That means almost all the core anti-discrimination provisions, including the new modernised definitions of protected characteristics, discrimination and harassment, as well as the measures which increase protection for disabled people.
As last month's consultation document makes clear, the provisions dealing with the new single equality duty will be commenced six months later, in April next year. The new duty will apply to most larger public sector organisations, and will oblige them to address the full range of equality issues when carrying out their functions. Currently equivalent duties apply only to the gender, disability and race strands.