The Equality Act 2010 (EA 2010) comes into force on the 1st October 2010 and it has widespread ramifications for employment law in the United Kingdom.
The principal objective of the EA 2010 is bring with each other all of the UK’s anti-discrimination legislation that has been introduced because the 1970’s beneath one particular piece of legislation and to simplify and harmonise it (e.g. the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Equal Spend Act 1970, and so on). In this respect, its aims and objectives are related to these of the Civil Rights Act 1964 in the United States and the European Unions Equal Therapy Directives.
The major provisions of the EA 2010 are as follows:-
• Exactly where employers have been identified guilty of discrimination, Employment Tribunals can now demand that they implement adjustments to avert additional discrimination.
• The law relating to harassment is extended so that personnel can bring a complaint for harassment even exactly where it is not directed at them personally, so extended as they can show that the harassment developed an offensive atmosphere for them to operate in. In addition, personnel can also bring a claim exactly where third celebration harassment requires location. That is, employers can potentially be held accountable for harassment by persons they do not employ (i.e. prospects and suppliers).
• Associative Discrimination: this is a form of claim that is now getting extended to all locations of anti-discrimination law. It can be brought exactly where an employee can claim direct discrimination (i.e. significantly less favourable remedy) since they are linked with a particular person who has a particular protected characteristic (i.e. disability, sex, race, age, and so on). This previously only applied to race discrimination, and discrimination by cause of sexual orientation, religion, and belief.
• Discrimination Arising From Disability: this is a new form of claim in which these with a disability can bring a claim exactly where they really feel that they are getting discriminated against by their employer in terms of getting treated significantly less favourably as a outcome of an challenge arising in consequence of their disability. This was brought in to counter the complications triggered by the selection in the case of London Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm (2008). As a outcome of the Malcolm case, disability-connected discrimination became considerably tougher to prove since in that case, it was decided that the appropriate comparator was a non-disabled particular person with related situations. Primarily, what this meant was that employers have been in a position to defeat disability-connected discrimination claims since they have been in a position to show that a comparator would have been treated in specifically the very same way. The new form of claim of discrimination arising from disability attempts to do away with this challenge. It removes the need to have for a comparator and the employee now merely wants to show that the significantly less favourable remedy relates to some thing arising in consequence of their disability (and not the disability itself). Nonetheless, an employer will have defence if they can demonstrate that the significantly less favourable remedy is a proportionate implies of reaching a genuine aim or they have been unaware of the disability.
• Discrimination By Perception: this is yet another form of claim which is getting extended to all locations of discrimination law. It is a claim which can be brought for direct discrimination (i.e. significantly less favourable remedy) exactly where an employer believes the employee possesses a protected characteristic (i.e. age, sex, race, disability, and so on), even if they do not. Previously, this only applied to age discrimination, race discrimination, and discrimination by cause of sexual orientation, religion, and belief.
• Indirect discrimination (i.e. a practice, criterion, policy, and so on that is applied to every person, but creates an unjustifiable disadvantage for a certain group who share a protected characteristic) is now extended to apply to disability and gender reassignment discrimination as properly as these locations it previously applied to.
• Throughout recruitment, employers can no longer ask queries about a candidates wellness except exactly where they apply to necessary elements of the job (e.g. heavy lifting)
• To be eligible to bring a claim for discrimination by cause of gender reassignment, Claimant’s no longer need to have to have been beneath health-related supervision (i.e. the legislation now also protects these who have not undergone any health-related procedures as properly as these who have).
• In terms of employers justifying particular actions, there is now a new single objective test which replaces the unique tests that utilised to apply.
• The ‘List of Capacities’ re disability discrimination is now getting removed as it was viewed as getting unduly restrictive. As an alternative, Employment Tribunals will now be left to make a ‘common sense’ selection on whether or not an impairment has a substantial impact on day to day activities.
• The EA 2010 as initially intended, permitted employers to take ‘positive action’ re beneath-represented groups. Having said that, this portion of the legislation will not be coming into force on the 1st October 2010 and the new Coalition Government may perhaps make a decision to take away it from the Act altogether.
• Equal Spend: personnel can now bring a claim for Direct Spend Discrimination, even exactly where no actual comparator can be identified so extended as they can show that they would have received greater spend had they been of the opposite sex (i.e. by employing hypothetical comparators).
• Spend secrecy is now outlawed
• Dual Discrimination: The EA 2010 introduces protection against dual discrimination whereby it is now illegal to discriminate by treating an employee significantly less favourably since of a mixture of two protected traits from the following group: sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and gender reassignment.