The Equality Act is the most significant piece of equality legislation came into force on 1st October 2010. It is there to strengthen protection, advance equality and simplify the law. The Equality Act brings together, and significantly adds to and strengthens, a number of previous pieces of legislation, including disability.
One of the key changes is that it extends the protected characteristics to encompass:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation.
Equality Act provides disabled people with rights and places duties on those who provide services, education and employment. It also encourages employers and employees to work together to break away from rigid employment practices, identify what adjustments and support might be needed, and find flexible ways of working that may benefit the whole workforce.
Employers have a duty to ensure their policy, practices and procedures in areas of staff recruitment and retention is non-discriminatory including terms of employment offered; in the opportunities for promotion, transfer, training or receiving any other benefit; by refusing to offer you, or deliberately not offering, any such opportunity; or by dismissing you, or subjecting you to any other negative treatment.
Duty to make reasonable adjustments - The duty to make reasonable adjustments aims to make sure that if you are a disabled person, you can use an organisation’s services as close as it is reasonably possible to get to the standard usually offered to non-disabled people.
The act also makes explicit the concept of ‘dual discrimination’, where someone may be discriminated against or treated unfairly on the basis of a combination of two or the protected characteristics.
The key aspects of the Act are:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
- advance equality of opportunity; and
- foster good relations
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a series of guides offering an overview of the equality duty. It includes the general equality duty, the specific duties and who they apply to. They cover what public authorities should do to meet the duty. This includes steps that are legally required, as well as recommended actions. Further information relating to the Equality Act can be found on Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) by following the link below;
Awareness and identification of Dyslexia and other SPLDs is key to teaching working attitudes towards Dyslexia. If you are an employee or employer, your organisation may benefit from Dyslexia training and awareness, which also plots out an accessible working attitude to Dyslexia and associated SPLDs. Taking part in our training course can help to promote a positive awareness of Dyslexia and related SPLDs in the workplace.
Disability Conciliation Service
Dyslexia can be a complicated subject to talk about. At Dyslexia Foundation we offer advice and guidance to individuals who are attributed with Dyslexia. If you have a question about Dyslexia, please feel free to contact us on our Freephone advice line.
Disability Conciliation is an opportunity for disabled people and service providers to resolve cases under the Equality Act. It is a "win/win" situation where parties come together in a one-off meeting to find their own solutions.
For more information, please see http://www.dcs-gb.net/index.php