All equality is founded on the belief that all humans are equal and should not be disadvantaged for any reason.  Equality can mean:

  • working towards everyone having the same opportunities
  • the ability to achieve access to facilities and services
  • or achieving the same outcomes

The Equality Act 2010 is the single most important piece of equalities legislation to date. This act replaced all of the existing equalities legislation, including the Race Relations Act and Disability Discrimination Act, to bring all key aspects of equality into one, straightforward law. The Equality Act 2010 provides a number of protected characteristics, these are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marriage/ civil partnership

The protected characteristics apply equally to everyone; we all have a race or a sexual orientation, and the purpose of the Equality Act is to ensure that no one is treated less favourably because they have a characteristic that is different.