What the Equality Act covers

The Equality Act has a wider scope than previous legislation. As well as covering discrimination within the workplace, the Equality Act also strengthens the Public Sector Duty to eliminate discrimination in the provision of services, provides new educational duties and extends the duty of businesses not to discriminate when providing services.

The Government Equalities Office has combined with Acas, the British Chambers of Commerce, Citizens’ Advice and the Equality and Diversity Forum to produce a series of quick guides.

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 has repealed two sections of the Equality Act. Protection from harassment by third parties, i.e. people not working for the employer, was repealed in October 2013. However, it is possible that claims could be made on the basis of harassment or discrimination by the employer for failing to deal with harassment from a third party, so taking steps to prevent any incidents from reoccurring is important. The questionnaire procedure that enabled people who thought they had been discriminated against to seek information was repealed on 6 April 2014. It is only the procedure that has been repealed, not the ability to ask questions.

See article 27 for the changes the Equality Act has made to positive action in recruitment.