Last reviewed 14 November 2023
The Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) Regulations 2023 have been issued in draft form and can be found on legislation.gov.uk.
The regulations are intended to reproduce in UK law a number of equality protections that had previously been protected under EU case law. Under the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023, these protections would otherwise have fallen away when rights, powers and liabilities derived from EU case law cease to have effect at the end of 2023.
The relevant provisions cover: discrimination in access to employment; discrimination related to pregnancy, maternity and breastfeeding; indirect discrimination by association and the definition of disability and equal pay.
A spokesperson for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said: “We welcome enshrining these vital protections from EU law into our domestic legislation. These are complex issues. While we welcome the Government’s intention to maintain these protections, it is desirable that Parliament and other stakeholders have sufficient opportunity to scrutinise any proposals to avoid unintended consequences, such as through primary legislation.”
When these regulations become law, the EHRC has said that it will monitor their impact and consider any issues that arise.
They will reproduce effects deriving from the following EU law as it has been interpreted in case law.
Directive 2000/43/EC implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (the Race Directive).
Directive 2000/78/EC establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (the Framework Directive).
Directive 2004/113/EC implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services.
Directive 2006/54/EC on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (the Recast Directive).