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Equality North East

Government confirms Equality Act will come into force 1 October

The Government has confirmed the provisions of the Equality Act that will come info force on 1 October.

These include:

* The basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in services and public functions; premises; work; education; associations, and transport.
* Changing the definition of gender reassignment, by removing the requirement for medical supervision.
* Levelling up protection for people discriminated against because they are perceived to have, or are associated with someone who has, a protected characteristic, so providing new protection for people like carers.
* Clearer protection for breastfeeding mothers.
* Applying the European definition of indirect discrimination to all protected characteristics.
* Extending protection from indirect discrimination to disability.
* Introducing a new concept of 'discrimination arising from disability', to replace protection under previous legislation lost as a result of a legal judgment.
* Harmonising the thresholds for the duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.
* Extending protection from third party harassment to all protected characteristics.
* Making it more difficult for disabled people to be unfairly screened out when applying for jobs, by restricting the circumstances in which employers can ask job applicants questions about disability or health.
* Allowing hypothetical comparators for direct gender pay discrimination.
* Making pay secrecy clauses unenforceable.
* Introducing new powers for Employment Tribunals to make recommendations which benefit the wider workforce.

There are some provisions, including positive action in recruitment and promotion, dual discrimination and gender pay gap information, which the Government is still considering. Information will be released in due course.

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September 30, 2010

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