Equality Act 2010 comes into force 1 October – what does it mean?

The Equality Act 2010 brings together nine separate pieces of legislation into one single act simplifying the law and strengthening it in important ways to help tackle discrimination and inequality.

The coalition government announced on 3 July that the first wave of implementation of the Equality Act will take place on 1 October 2010. On this date, the vast majority of the act’s provisions will come into force. There are also some areas of the act which the government is still considering and may come into force at a later date.

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May said:

“By making the law easier to understand, the Equality Act will help business treat staff fairly and meet the needs of a diverse customer base. The law will be easier to understand and better able to protect people from discrimination.

“Implementing the Equality Act to the planned timetable makes clear our commitment to equality. A successful economy needs the full participation of all its citizens and we are committed to implementing the Act in the best way for business.”

To help people understand the new laws, the Government Equalities Office has prepared a series of summary guides: Equality Act 2010: what do I need to know?

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