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Equality Act 2017

The Equality Act 2017 deals with discrimination comprehensively in respect of both employment and the provision of goods and services on the grounds ('protected characteristics') of:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race, religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

Work on bringing the Act into operation is being led by the Cabinet Office but with support from the Department for Enterprise (DfE). Copies of the Act and accompanying Explanatory Notes can be downloaded by clicking on the links in the right hand column. 

Following the announcement of Royal Assent, on 18 July 2017 the Act is being phased in, with much of the Act having come into force on 1 January 2019.

The Equality Act 2017 (Appointed Day)(No. 1) Order 2017 and The Equality Act 2017 (Appointed Day)(No. 2) Order 2017 brought into operation certain provisions of Schedule 22 [employment legislation – miscellaneous amendments], Schedule 23 [consequential and minor amendments] and Schedule 24 [repeals] to the Act. The provisions relate to changes to employment law which are not connected to the Act's main provisions. 

The Equality Act 2017 (Appointed Day No. 3 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2017 and the Equality Act 2017 (Appointed Day) (No. 5) Order 2018 set out the implementation dates for the main equality provisions in the Act. The most important dates are as follows:

  • the great majority of the provisions of the Act came into operation on 1  January 2019 and the Employment and Equality Tribunal replaced the former Employment Tribunal on the same date
  • the protected characteristics of disability and age discrimination will come into operation on 1 January 2020 as will extended equal pay rights, covering, in particular work of equal value

The Equality Act 2017 (Appointed Day No. 4) Order 2018  abolished the Tynwald Advisory Council for Disabilities.

The Cabinet Office has appointed an equality adviser to brief employers, workers and other interested parties about the Act (see Sources of help).

On 1 January 2019, the Employment and Equality Tribunal (EET) replaced the Employment Tribunal. The new Tribunal deals with complaints under the Equality Act 207 about employment, the provision of goods and services, premises, education etc. To this end new Employment and Equality Tribunal Rules 2018 have been made which also came into operation on the same date.

For information about changes to general employment law made by the Equality Act please see Amendments to general employment law made by the Equality Act 2017.

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