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Equality Act comes into force 1st October 2010

The vast majority of the Equality Act's provisions will come into force today. This landmark legislation strengthens, harmonises and streamlines 40 years of equality legislation, providing protection from discrimination across all the ‘protected characteristics’:  age, disability, sex (including gender reassignment), race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation.  The Equality Act affects you as an employer and service provider and applies whatever the size of your organisation or sector you work in.

Most of the Employment, Services and Education parts of the Act come into force on 1 October and the Public Sector Equality Duty provisions are planned to come into force in April 2011.

The Commission is providing wide-ranging support to the private, voluntary and public sectors to ensure they are fully aware of all the legal requirements. Please see our video introduction to the Act from Trevor Philips and Stephen Alambritis.

We have also produced in-depth guidance for employers, employees, schools and higher and further education providers, and those providing or using services, including clubs, associations and political parties.  The Commission will also be producing guidance for students and parents, guides on housing and transport, and guidance around the Public Sector Equality Duties.

To complement the guidance we are also producing a Starter Kit giving a short, accessible summary to the Act to help you understand the essentials of the law.  It will offer simple downloadable learning modules taking you through different scenarios as an employer or service provider.

We will be laying the following draft Codes of Practice before Parliament on 11 October:  Equal Pay, Employment, and Services and Public Functions.

Two statutory consultations are also planned this autumn; first on the  Code of Practice for Further and Higher Education, which launches today, and in November we will be consulting on the Public Sector Equality Duty Codes.  The consultation on the Schools Codes is scheduled for February/March 2011.

To find out more and keep up-to-date with all information, events and guidance about the Act please visit the Equality Act area of our website.



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Disabilities Fife
West Bridge Mill, Bridge Street,
Kirkcaldy, Fife, KY1 1TE
Scottish Charity No: SC 026112