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Equality and the Law

This page provides an overview of the current law relating to equality and diversity. The page provides details of the recent changes to Equality legislation and explains which groups are currently protected . There are also links to other useful information about equality law and an overview of OWBC Single Equality Scheme. which details our objectives in redressing inequalities.

Equality and the Law

The new Equality Act came into force in October 2010, replacing the following three pieces of equality legislation:

  • Disability Discrimination Act
  • Race Discrimination Act
  • Sex Discrimination Act

The purpose of the Equality Act 2010 was to review, revise and consolidate previous existing equalities-related legislation.

What does the Act do?

The Act strengthens the law by:

  • Placing a new Equality Duty on Public Authorities
  • Banning age discrimination
  • Recognising dual discrimination
  • Requiring Gender pay and equality reporting
  • Extending positive action
  • Strengthening protection for disabled people
  • Giving power to ban caste discrimination
  • recognising new forms of discrimination that are unlawful
  • Enhancing Public duties to reduce systemic inequality and discrimination
  • Improved and strengthened the powers of employment tribunals

The Act also extends the forms of discrimination to include:

  • Direct discrimination
  • Associative discrimination
  • Perceptive discrimination
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation

Who is Protected?

The Act provides varying degrees of protection to people who experience discrimination because of their:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Marriage and civil partnerships
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex/Gender
  • Gender reassignment
  • Sexual orientation

These are known as the ‘protected characteristics’.

What is covered by the Act ?

  • Services and public functions
  • Premises
  • Work
  • Education
  • Associations (private clubs and political parties)
  • Contracts
  • Disability in public transport

General Duties for Public Authorities

All public authorities ( Fire, Police, Education and Local Authorities ) are required to fulfil the following three general Public duties. These came into force in April 2011.

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

In carrying out it’s work, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council will pay due regard to the above duties.

Specific Duties for Local Authorities

1. The duty to publish information to demonstrate how we are meeting our public duties, came into effect in January 2012.

Oadby and Wigston Borough Council will publish the following information on the website:

2. The duty to publish Equality objectives every four years, comes into effect in April 2012 .

Oadby and Wigston Borough Council will publish the following information on the website:

The Council's Single Equality Scheme

As a council we are working in a partnership with the six other district and borough council’s to achieve good practice with regards to promoting equality and diversity in our communities. As a partnership we have produced a Single Equality Scheme. This outlines our principles, objectives and actions to meet our public duties under the Equality Act and our own commitment to the principles of equality and diversity. The Single equality scheme covers what we will do in relation to all the protected equality groups and how we will eliminate harassment and discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good community relations in the Borough.

We will monitor the achievement of our action plan and objectives on an annual basis and produce and publish a report detailing what has been achieved.

Additional Information

For more information on The Equality Act click on the links below:

Link to the Equality Act

Link to Equality and Human Rights Commission

The equality act, making equality real (PDF Document, 2.3 Mb)

Last updated: Thursday, 9 May 2013 7:08 pm

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