The Equality Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against, harass or victimise someone at work. For example, it is unlawful for an employer to refuse someone a promotion because they are a man, or to sexually harass a female colleague. The Act also makes it unlawful for an employer to pay men and women differently because of their sex when they are doing the same or an equivalent job or work of equal value.
The Act mainly brings together what was in previous law. In addition it:
- stops employers asking job applicants questions about their health or disability at early stages of recruitment;
- bans employers enforcing clauses in employment contracts which stop people talking about their own pay.
The Act also enables Parliament to make further legislation to require private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees to report on their gender pay gap. The Government does not intend to implement this measure. Instead, it is working with business to encourage the publication of equality workforce data on a voluntary basis.
The Act also contains a measure which makes employers liable if an employee is repeatedly harassed by a customer or supplier. The Government plans to consult later this year on removing this measure.
These provisions set out how people are protected from unfair treatment by employers
Tell us what you think should happen to these measures and why, being specific where possible
- Should we scrap them altogether?
- Could their purpose be achieved in a non-regulatory way (eg through a voluntary code?) How?
- Could they be reformed, simplified or merged? How?
- Can we reduce their bureaucracy through better implementation? How?
- Can we make their enforcement less burdensome? How?
- Should they be left as they are?