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Equality and diversity

Equalities legislation

The Equality Act 2010 came into force on 1 October 2010, and brings with it over 116 separate pieces of legislation into one single Act.

Together they make up a new Act that provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all. The Act extends protection to nine protected characteristics which are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civic partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief (or lack of religion or belief)
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

The Act also introduced a single Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) which came into force on 6 April 2011.

This states that everything a public body does, must have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under this act
  • advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
  • foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

The PSED also requires the council to publish equalities data annually and produce and publish corporate equality objectives each year.

Equality and diversity