Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 brought together over 116 separate pieces of legislation into one single Act.The Act establishes both a general duty and specific duties for public bodies like Gloucestershire County Council. The law establishes that the protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex (gender) and sexual orientation.
By law public bodies must try to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, 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.
The Act explains that 'due regard' for advancing equality involves:
- Removing or minimising disadvantages experienced by people due to their protected characteristics.
- Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people.
- Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.
More about theEquality Act and the public sector equality duty: