The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 Commencement No. 4 Savings, Consequential, Transitional, Transitory and Incidental Provisions and Revocation Order 2001 SI 2317 & The Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010 SI 2128


The Equality Act 2010 became an Act of Parliament on 8th April 2010. From 1st October 2010, the majority of the Act has been implemented and will replace major parts of the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act. The relevant orders set out are the ones most relevant to the private housing sector. The remainder of the provisions will be introduced as determined by Ministers.

Scope of the 2010 Act:

This Act provides both a consolidation of existing legislation and a positive development of some of the existing anti-discrimination themes. This significant statute codifies anti-discrimination law, including the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, and the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.

The Act requires equal treatment in employment and services, both public and private, irrespective of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, belief or age.

Definitions, “Protected characteristic”:

The most significant change created by the 2010 Act is what might be described as the ‘third party’ approach to discrimination. The Act amends the existing definition of direct discrimination so that it will be unlawful to discriminate against someone because of a particular characteristic. As an example it would previously have been unlawful to discriminate against a disabled tenant where it would now be unlawful to discriminate against an able bodied tenant with a disabled child.

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