Who will be protected
The Act protects all people from discrimination on the basis of possessing a 'protected characteristic'.
The following protected characteristics will be effective from 1 January 2019:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marriage & Civil Partnership
- Sexual Orientation
- Pregnancy & Maternity
The remaining protected characteristics will be effective from 1 January 2020:
You will be protected from discrimination:
- in the workplace
- using public services (for example healthcare or education)
- using businesses & organisations that provide goods and services
- using transport
- buying or renting property
- as a member or guest of a private club or association and
- when you have contact with public bodies (for example local commissioners or government departments)
The Act also creates an obligation on public authorities or those who carry out public functions with the aim of positively promoting equality known as the public sector equality duty. This shifts the onus from individuals to organisations, removing or reducing the need for individuals to bring discrimination claims.
Organisations will be required to consider how they can contribute to the advancement of equality and good relations.
Such equality considerations will be manifested in policy design and service delivery through the assessment of how a function may affect a different group in different ways.