The Government has published draft legislation to amend the Equality Act 2010 with effect from 1 January 2024.
The Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) Regulations 2023 works to secure certain EU-derived discrimination protections which would otherwise have disappeared at the end of this year when retained EU law ceases to have effect due to Brexit.
The main changes introduced by the draft legislation are as follows:
- An amendment to guidance on the definition of disability under the Equality Act, to include taking into consideration a person’s ability to participate in working life on an equal basis with other workers as a relevant factor when looking at ‘day-to-day activities’.
- The right to claim indirect discrimination by association (protecting a person who does not hold the relevant protected characteristic themselves but suffers the same disadvantage at the hands of the employer’s Provision Criteria or Practice as those who do have that characteristic).
- Confirmation of a ‘single source’ test when it comes to comparators for the purposes of equal pay. This means that comparators can potentially work for a different business so long as the body responsible for setting the terms is the same and is in a position to ensure equal treatment.
- An extension of direct discrimination protection to cover discriminatory statements made about not wanting to recruit people with certain protected characteristics even where there is no identifiable victim.
- Confirmation that employment discrimination on grounds of breastfeeding falls under the protected characteristic of sex.