Equality Act 2010: What do I need to know?

The Equality Act brings together nine separate pieces of legislation into one single Act simplifying the law and strengthening it in important ways to help tackle discrimination and inequality.. Equality Act 2010: What do I need to know? is a series of summary guides and "Quick Start" guides to the key changes in the law, produced by the Government Equalities Office in partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce, Citizens Advice and the Equality and Diversity Forum, to support implementation of the Act. These simple guides set out clearly what the new laws will mean for business, the public sector, the voluntary sector and the public, helping people understand their new responsibilities and rights. Implementation of majority of the Equality Act will begin on 1 October 2010.

 Equalities Act

There are several items here worth reading about the new Equalities Act that came into force on 1st October. There are particular parts of the Act that are relevant to charities.
Guidance finally available on "charities exemption" under Equalities Act
The Charity Commission, the independent regulator for charities in England and Wales, has produced guidance about a key section of the Equalities Act that allows a charity to limit the group of people that it helps, referred to as "the charities exemption". This means that charities will need a "strong justification" to restrict their services to certain beneficiary groups if they cannot prove that group has a particular need or disadvantage. Read what Third Sector magazine have to say on the subject.

This legislation came into force on Friday, 1st October, although there are other parts of the Act yet to be brought in to effect. Visit the Charity Commission website to read the guidance:

The Commission will publish more detailed guidance by the end of the year "to look at particular issues that may affect a small number of charities". This guidance should complement, not replace, that already produced by the Government Equalities Office and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which we have previously covered. The main employment aspects do not make any great changes to what employers need to do.

More help with the Equality Act

People Management magazine outlines why employers should welcome the Equality Act, contrary to how the popular press has portrayed it, and separates "myth from reality" on key issues,

Sector guide on how to use the Equality Act
The Equality and Diversity Forum's 'How to use the Equality Act 2010: A guide for voluntary and community organisations' looks at how the new equality law can be used in advocacy, service delivery and campaigning work. It also includes a briefing on the Localism Bill and the EDF response to the Civil Society consultation.  Visit the website at: