The Equality Act 2010 brings together separate pieces of legislation into one single Act simplifying the law and strengthening it in important ways to help tackle discrimination and inequality. It provides a cross-cutting legislative framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all. In addition, it is intended to deliver a simple, modern and accessible framework of discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society.
The Public Sector Equality Duty came into force on the 5 April 2011. The Equality Duty replaces the three previous duties on race, disability and sex, bringing them together into a single duty, and extending it to cover age, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
The Equality Duty requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations in the course of developing policies and delivering services.