General Article Questions about the Equality Act 2010

Topic Selected: Gender Equality
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What is the purpose of the new Act?

The Equality Act 2010 brings together a number of existing laws into one place so that it is easier to use. It sets out the personal characteristics that are protected by the law and the behaviour that is unlawful. Simplifying legislation and harmonising protection for all of the characteristics covered will help Britain become a fairer society, improve public services, and help business perform well. A copy of the Equality Act 2010 and the explanatory notes that accompany it can be found on the Home Office website (

Who is protected by the Act?

Everyone in Britain is protected by the Act. The ‘protected characteristics’ under the Act are (in alphabetical order):

  • Age;
  • Disability;
  • Gender reassignment;
  • Marriage and civil partnership;
  • Pregnancy and maternity;
  • Race;
  • Religion and belief;
  • Sex;
  • Sexual orientation.

What behaviour is unlawful?

Under the Act people are not allowed to discriminate against, harass or v...

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