single equality - training and consultancy
  1. Age

    Key legislation
    Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006

    From 1 October 2006, the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations made it unlawful to discriminate against workers, employees, job seekers and trainees because of their age. The Regulations cover recruitment, terms and conditions, promotions, transfers, terminations and training.

    At present this is the only strand of diversity that does not extend to the provision of goods and services. However, the Single Equality Bill proposes to extend this to customers, in common with other strands.

  2. Disability

    Key legislation
    Disability Equality Duty 2006
    Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2005
    Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995

    The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) makes it unlawful to discriminate against disabled people in a number of areas including, employment, access to goods and services, education and transport.

    In April 2005 the Act was amended and the definition of disability extended to include, HIV, multiple sclerosis and cancer - on diagnosis. There was also a change in the classification for mental illness, which no longer needs to be 'clinically well recognised' to be classed as an impairment.

    The new legislation introduced in 2006 places:

    • a duty on public bodies to actively promote disability equality; and
    • a specific duty to publish a Disability Equality Scheme (DES). The scheme should set out how an organisation intends to meet the general duty and be reviewed every three years.
  3. Gender

    Key legislation
    The Equality Act 2006 (Gender Equality Duty)
    Sex Discrimination Act 1975
    Equal Pay Act 1970

    Discrimination on the basis of gender has been prohibited by the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 in relation to employment and the provision of goods, facilities and services. However, under the Gender Equality Duty, public bodies are required to actively promote gender equality through their key functions.

    The duty requires public authorities to have due regard to the need to:

    • eliminate unlawful discrimination with regard to obligations under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Equal Pay Act 1970, and to take steps to ensure compliance with these Acts; and
    • promote equality of opportunity between men and women, and take active steps to promote gender equality when carrying out functions and activities.

    The specific duties include:

    • publishing Gender Equality Schemes, including equal pay policies, in consultation with employees and stakeholders;
    • monitoring progress and publishing progress reports every three years; and
    • conducting and publishing gender impact assessments on major new legislation and policy.
  4. Transgender (Gender identity)

    Key legislation
    The Equality Act 2006
    Gender Recognition Act 2004

    The Gender Recognition Act 2004 gives transgendered or transsexual people full legal recognition of change of gender. It enables them to live fully and permanently in their chosen gender and to apply for legal recognition of that gender.

    The Act also allows for a transsexual person who has lived in their self-identified gender for at least two years, and who has a diagnosis of gender dysphoria (transsexualism), to obtain legal recognition of their gender for all purposes. The Gender Equality Duty of the Equality Act 2006 provides that transsexual people are explicitly covered. The first element of the duty, requiring public authorities to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful sex discrimination will cover transsexual people, as unlawful sex discrimination includes the prohibition in the SDA on discrimination against transsexual people in employment and vocational training.

    The second element of the duty, dealing with the promotion of equal opportunities between women and men does not include a specific obligation to promote equality of opportunity between transsexual people and people generally. However, transsexual people, as men or women, will benefit from the general obligation to promote equality of opportunity between the sexes. Legal protection for transsexual people was extended when the Government implemented its commitment to bring in legislation to prevent discrimination against transsexual people in the provision of goods and services in 21 December 2007. The Discrimination Law Review will be looking more broadly at the protection from discrimination for transsexual people.

  5. Sexual orientation

    Key legislation
    Equality in Employment Regulations (Sexual Orientation)

    These Regulations made it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of sexuality (gay or lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual), directly or indirectly; or to harass or victimise somebody because they have made a complaint or intend to, or if they give or intend to give evidence to a complaint of discrimination. This applies to all aspects of employment (recruitment, terms and conditions, promotions, transfers, terminations and training) and vocational training.

  6. Race and ethnicity

    Key legislation
    Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

    Under the general duty of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, employers are required to promote race equality with due regard to the need to:

    • eliminate unlawful discrimination;
    • promote equality of opportunity; and
    • promote good relations between people of different racial groups.

    There is also a specific duty to publish a Race Equality Scheme (RES), this should set out how a public body intends to meet the general duty and it must be reviewed every three years. Other specific duties include:

    • assessing and consulting on the likely impact of proposed policies relating to the promotion of race equality;
    • monitoring policies for any adverse impact relating to the promotion of race equality;
    • publishing the results of any assessments, consultations and monitoring;
    • ensuring public access to information and services provided; and
    • training staff on the Race Equality Duty.
  7. Religion or belief

    Key legislation
    Equality in Employment Regulations (Religion or Belief) 2003

    These Regulations made it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of religion or belief, directly or indirectly; or to harass or victimise somebody because they have made a complaint or intend to, or if they give or intend to give evidence to a complaint of discrimination. This applies to all aspects of employment (recruitment, terms and conditions, promotions, transfers, terminations and training) and vocational training.

    In relation to services, Part 2 of the Equality Act 2006 makes it unlawful for a public body involved in providing goods, facilities or services to discriminate on the grounds of religion or belief through:

    • refusing to provide a person with goods, facilities or services if they would normally do so to the public, or to a section of the public to which the person belongs; and
    • providing goods, facilities or services of an inferior quality to those that would normally by provided, or in a less favourable manner or on less favourable terms than would normally be the case.
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