You can find out more about your rights under the Equality Act in our Discrimination section. Polly Toynbee wrote that the bill, drafted under the leadership of Harriet Harman, was „Labour`s greatest idea in 11 years“. The duty of the public sector to bridge the gap between rich and poor will resolve class divisions in a way that no other policy has done. This new obligation to close the gap would permeate all aspects of government policy. Its potential impact is incredibly immense. One cabinet member described it as „socialism in one clause.“  This part of the legislation has never been brought into force, with the exception of the Scottish devolved authorities.   Sections 104 to 105 of the Act extend until 2030 the exemption from the Sex Discrimination Act, which allows political parties to draw up shortlists for women.  The exemption was previously permitted under the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002. Due to the Gender Equality Act, age discrimination is illegal in almost all cases. The law protects people from discrimination, harassment or victimization in the workplace and as users of private and public services on the basis of nine protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The law contains provisions for same-sex services where restrictions are „a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.“  In the case of disability, employers and service providers are required to make appropriate adjustments to their workplace to overcome barriers for persons with disabilities. In this regard, the Equality Act 2010 did not amend the law. Under section 217, the Act does not apply to Northern Ireland, with some exceptions.
 The anti-discrimination law is a novelty. Religious discrimination was first combated by laws targeting Roman Catholics. The Papist Act of 1778 was the first law to deal with legal discrimination against Roman Catholics, but it was not until the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829 that Catholics were considered fully emancipated. A year later, in 1830, debates began about similar arrangements for Jews. A powerful conservative lobby in Parliament prevented any promotion of this cause until the Religious Views Act of 1846, although this contributed only in part to the acceptance of all religious views. It was not until the Reform Act of 1867 that the right to vote was extended to all male heads of household. Women were also excluded from general social participation. The first changes took place at the municipal level, particularly in Birmingham City Council from the 1830s onwards. Mid-19th century Chartists and suffragettes after the turn of the 20th century campaigned for universal suffrage against a conservative judiciary and a liberal political establishment.
In Nairn v University Court of the University of St. Andrews (1907), Lord McLaren even stated that `indirect` discrimination was unlawful under section 19 of the Equality Act 2010.  It is the application to everyone of a provision, criterion or practice that has a disproportionate effect on certain persons and is not objectively justified. For example, the requirement that job applicants exceed a certain height would have a greater impact on women than on men, since the average height of women is lower than that of men. It is a defence for the employer to prove that the requirement is „a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.“ The right to discrimination is „blind“ in the sense that the ground of discrimination is irrelevant and both minorities and majorities could claim discrimination if treated less favourably. Positive discrimination (or „positive action“ as it is called in the United States) aimed at replenishing diversity quotas or for other purposes is prohibited throughout Europe because it violates the principle of equal treatment as well as negative discrimination. However, there is one major exception. Let`s say an employer hires new employees and they have 2 applications where candidates are also qualified for the position. If the workforce does not reflect the composition of society (for example, women or ethnic minorities are under-represented), the employer may favour the candidate who would correct this imbalance.
However, they may only do so if both candidates are equal and other conditions must be met. This type of measure is also known as positive action. Sections 158 and 159 of the Equality Act 2010 set out the circumstances in which positive action is permitted. Article 159, which deals with positive measures related to recruitment and promotion (and forms the basis of the above example of equally qualified candidates), only entered into force in April 2011.  The Government Office for Equality has issued guidelines on the rules of Article 159.  Section 158 sets out the circumstances in which positive measures are permitted, except with respect to recruitment and promotion, such as the provision of training opportunities. Article 158 does not stipulate that candidates must have the same qualifications. Age discrimination may be lawful in certain circumstances. The Equality Act allows age discrimination if it can be „objectively justified“. This means that the employer or service provider must prove that they have a valid ground for age discrimination.
If you have been subjected to unlawful processing (e.g. discrimination, harassment or victimisation) before 1 October 2010, the Equality Act does not apply. Instead, you are subject to the legislation in force at that time. More recently, two measures have been introduced, one of which has been proposed to prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of atypical work patterns for workers who are not considered to be open-ended. Part-time work and fixed-term workers have been partially introduced to close the gender pay gap. The reason for this is that women are much more likely to hold permanent non-full-time positions. However, following the Treaty of Amsterdam, a new Article 13 promises Community action for the general elimination of inequalities. The directive on defaulting temporary agency workers should be the third pillar of this programme. Discrimination against union members is also a serious problem, for the apparent reason that some employers view unionization as a threat to their right to run a business. Persons with a protected characteristic are protected against discrimination in employment and access to services, education, premises and associations. Examples of prohibited discrimination include being a client in the areas of social security, access to education and other public services.
The UK Labour Government has codified and strengthened the different areas of protection in a single law, namely the Equality Act 2010. For example, if you were a victim of racial discrimination on 30 September 2010 and wish to make a complaint or take legal action, the Race Relations Act 1976 applies, not the Equality Act. The UK Employment Equality Act is a body of laws that regulates bias-based actions in the workplace. As part of UK employment law, it is illegal to discriminate against a person because they have one of the „protected characteristics“, namely age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and partnership, race, religion or belief, sex, pregnancy and maternity, and sexual orientation. The main legislation is the Equality Act 2010, which prohibits discrimination in access to education, public services, private goods and services, transport or premises in addition to employment. This follows three major European Union directives and is complemented by other laws such as the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. In addition, discrimination on the basis of employment status as a part-time, fixed-term, agency or trade union worker is prohibited by a combination of legal instruments and by the Consolidated Trade Unions and Industrial Relations Act 1992, which in turn follows European law. Disputes are usually resolved in the workplace in consultation with an employer or union, or with the advice of a lawyer, ACAS or the Citizen Advice Office. The Gender Equality Act 2006 established the Equality and Human Rights Commission to strengthen the implementation of equality laws.  Step two: Send details about your complaint, what happened and when.
Make it clear that you are complaining about ageism. It can also be helpful to suggest solutions, for example, if you want an apology or if the person responsible needs to be retrained. Normal types of rights apply to disabilities, but other types of rights are also specific. These are „discrimination on the basis of disability“ and the appropriate duty to accommodate. „Discrimination on the basis of disability“ was a reformulated test introduced after the House of Lords` decision in Lewisham LBC v. Malcolm and EHRC shifted the balance of protection too far away for people with disabilities.  Section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 provides full protection against discrimination „on a cause“ of disability, provided that the employer defends „objective justification“ if it proves that the action was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.