The 2010 Equalities Act made understanding the law a bit easier as is replaced previous anti-discrimination laws. The aim was to make the law easier to understand and comply with.
The act covers nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly. Every person has one or more of the protected characteristics, so the act protects everyone against unfair treatment. The protected characteristics are:
marriage and civil partnership
pregnancy and maternity
religion or belief
The Equality Act sets out the different ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone, such as direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, victimisation and failing to make a reasonable adjustment for a disabled person.
The act prohibits unfair treatment in the workplace, when providing goods, facilities and services, when exercising public functions, in the disposal and management of premises, in education and by associations (such as private clubs).
Most of the provisions of the Act have now been implemented but the government has decided not to take forward
- Public sector duty regarding socio-economic inequalities;
- Gender pay gap information; and
- Combined discrimination: dual characteristics.
For more information http://homeoffice.gov.uk/equalities/equality-act/
Of course as Unitarians we are not interested in equalities because the Government tells us we should be, we are interested in equalities and committed to making a difference because of our values and our faith.