Equality Bill completes its passage through Parliament and becomes the Equality Act 2010

The Equality Bill passed through Parliament on 6th April 2010 and became an Act when it received Royal Assent on 8th April.

Various summaries and commentaries of the new legislation have been issued, including the following:

The main points of the new law are:

* A duty requiring the public sector to actively promote equality will be extended to cover LGB&T equality, with effect from April 2011, and applicable to all public sector organisations, including the NHS, schools, local councils, and the police.

* Lesbian, gay and bisexual people will be able to hold their civil partnership ceremonies in England and Wales on religious premises where the religious organisations wishes to host such events.

* Employers will be able to use positive action to select candidates from under-represented groups when people applying for a job have the same qualifications.

* Prohibition of the use of pre-employment healthcare questionnaires prior to a job offer.  This will remove a barrier to people living with HIV entering the workplace.

* Prohibition of private members’ clubs from discriminating against members or guests based on their sexual orientation or gender reassignment.

* Introduction of the concept of “dual discrimination”, where people can show they were discriminated because, for example, they are both a woman and a lesbian, or because they are gay and from an ethnic minority.

* Extension of trans rights, such as banning discrimination by schools on the grounds of gender reassignment. It also bans discrimination against people because they are mistakenly thought to be transsexual, or because they are connected with a transsexual person.

* Slight extension of the definition of gender reassignment, so that trans people who do not have medical treatment will be protected from discrimination, so long as they intend to transition, or have transitioned gender.

Published here with full acknowledgement to Proud Tameside for the content of this information.  If you wish to read the Act please follow this link:

 http://www.equalities.gov.uk/equality_bill.aspx

If you would like to read more about the work of Proud Tameside please follow the following link:

 http://proudtameside.wordpress.com/about-us/

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