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Equality Act 2010

Type of Bill:
Government Bill
Ms Harriet Harman
Government Equalities Office
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
Government Equalities Office

Progress of the Bill

Bill started in the House of Commons

  1. House of Commons
    1. 1st reading
    2. 2nd reading
    3. Committee stage
    4. Report stage
    5. 3rd reading
  2. House of Lords
    1. 1st reading
    2. 2nd reading
    3. Committee stage
    4. Report stage
    5. 3rd reading
  3. Consideration of Amendments
  4. Royal Assent

Last event

Act of Parliament

House Act Date
Commons Equality Act 2010 c.15 | PDF version, 726KB 13.04.2010

Latest news on the Equality Act 2010

Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Bill it received Royal Assent on 8 April. The Bill is now an Act of Parliament (law).

Summary of the Equality Act 2010

The Bill will harmonise and in some cases extend existing discrimination law covering the 'protected characteristics' of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. It will address the impact of recent case law which is generally seen as having weakened discrimination protection, and harmonise provisions defining indirect discrimination.

Key areas

  • Provides powers to extend age discrimination protection outside the workplace
  • Clarifies protection against discrimination by association, for example in relation to a mother who cares for her disabled child
  • Extends protection from discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment to school pupils
  • Extends discrimination protection in the terms of membership and benefits for private clubs and associations
  • Creates a unified public sector duty, intended to promote equality in public policy and decision-making, existing provisions being extended to the protected characteristics of sexual orientation, age and religion or belief, and proposes a new public sector duty related to socio-economic inequalities
  • Provides for legislation requiring that employers review gender pay differences within their organisations and publish the results
  • Provides for changes to the way that individual claims are enforced, and gives employment tribunals wider powers to make recommendations for the collective benefit of employees
  • Allows a Minister to amend UK equality legislation to comply with European law without the need for primary legislation
  • Extends the period for which all-women shortlists may be used for parliamentary and other elections until 2030 and allows parties to reserve places on shortlists of candidates for people on the grounds of race or disability.

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