The Equality Act sets out the different ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone, such as direct discrimination, harassment and failing to make a reasonable adjustment for a disabled person. For example, it is unlawful for a landlord not to let a property to someone because they are Muslim, or for an employer to allow staff to racially abuse a colleague.
The Act mainly brings together what was in previous law. In addition it:
- widens protection to cover more people from direct discrimination. It now includes people who are wrongly perceived to have, or who are associated with, someone who has a protected characteristic (eg age, race etc);
- makes the definition of indirect discrimination more consistent and extends it to cover disability and gender reassignment;
- strengthens protection for disabled people.
The Act also contains new protection from discrimination because of a combination of two protected characteristics. The Government does not intend to implement this measure.
These provisions set out the behaviour which is against the law
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?