Group Portrait of Queer Friends

The Equality Act 2010 (the Act)

The Act protects people from discrimination on the basis of what are termed “protected characteristics”

The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) applies in England, Scotland and Wales. The Equality Act 2010 was not enacted in Northern Ireland and the further information section below explains this further.  

The Act protects people from discrimination on the basis of what are termed “protected characteristics” which are listed below:

  • age

  • disability

  • gender reassignment

  • marriage and civil partnership

  • pregnancy and maternity

  • race

  • religion or belief

  • sex

  • sexual orientation

Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to discriminate against someone because of a protected characteristic. The Act covers the whole spectrum of employment including recruitment, training, promotion, terms and conditionsredundancydiscipline and dismissal. Individuals are protected from discrimination in a number of contexts including employment, access to goods and services, education and housing.

The principles also apply to ‘workers’ in general (rather than simply ‘employees’) meaning that you are protected from discrimination if you are a bank or agency worker.