The Equality Act 2010 is an Act of the Parliament of the UK. It protects people from discrimination, harassment, and victimisation that is based on characteristics that we all have. Under the Equality Act, there are nine protected characteristics:
Under the Equality Act, people are protected:
- In their workplace
- When they use public services like healthcare or education
- When they use businesses and other organisations that provide services and goods
- When they use transport
- When they join a club or association
- when they have contact with public bodies like a local council
The Equality Act requires public bodies (like local councils, hospitals, and publicly-funded service providers) to consider how their decisions and policies affect people with different protected characteristics. The public body also should have evidence to show how it has done this. The Equality Act calls this the public sector equality duty.
The Equality Act requires organisations (like employers, shops, local authorities, and schools) to take positive steps to remove any barriers that people might face because of a disability. This is to ensure they receive the same services (as far as this is possible) as someone who's not disabled. The Equality Act calls this the duty to make reasonable adjustments.