The Equality Act 2010, as from 1 October 2010, consolidated all the previous anti-discrimination laws (Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Equal Pay Act 1970, Race Relations Act 1976, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006), which were repealed. Most of the differences and discrepancies inherent in the previous legislation were removed. The employment provisions of the Act apply to England, Wales and Scotland but not to Northern Ireland.

This topic examines the general principles of the Equality Act that apply across the board, either to all the “protected characteristics”, ie the grounds on which discrimination is unlawful, or to most of them.

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