The Equality Act became law in October 2010. It replaces all previous legislation (such as the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995). It is there to strengthen protection, advance equality and simplify the law. The Act has a Public Sector Equality Duty which specific duties came into force on 10th September 2011. The Act now gives protection to groups of people who experience discrimination and have protection from this legislation. These are known as protected characteristics. It is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of:
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Re-assignment
- Religion and Belief
- Marriage and Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy and Maternity
As a public authority, the Trust has a legal requirement to promote equality and set out how we plan to meet the 'general and specific duties' specified in the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Equality Act 2010.