The Equality Act 2010 is a major piece of legislation to reform and harmonise discrimination law, and to strengthen the law to support progress on equality. The act introduced a public sector equality duty, which the University has to meet. The duty is underpinned by specific duties. In England these commenced on 10 September 2011.
The public sector equality duty requires the University to have due regard to the need to:
1) eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010
2) remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
- meet the needs of people with protected characteristics
- encourage people with protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is low
3) foster good relations between people from different groups. This involves tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups
In order to demonstrate due regard, the University must consider the three aims of the general duty when making decisions as employers and education and service providers; for example, when:
- developing, evaluating and reviewing policies
- designing, delivering and evaluating services, including education provisions
- commissioning and procuring services from others
The equality duty covers the following protected characteristics that are recognised within the Equality Act:
- gender reassignment
- pregnancy and maternity
- race – this includes ethnic or national origin, colour or nationality
- religion or belief – this includes lack of belief
- sexual orientation
It also applies to marriage and civil partnership, but only in respect of the requirement to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination in employment.
To find out more about the Equality Act click on the appropriate links on the right hand side.
You can also book onto the professional communications training to find out more about equality and diversity including the Equality Act 2010. To book go to http://www.bolton.ac.uk/LEPDU/ProfessionalDevelopment/Home.aspx