The Equality Act was introduced in October 2010 and it replaced the previous discrimination legislation concerning sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief and age.
The Act continued to protect the same characteristics but also extended the protection to new groups. The specific “protected characteristics” set out in the act now include:
- gender reassignment;
- marriage and civil partnership;
- pregnancy and maternity;
- religion or belief;
- sex; and
- sexual orientation.
An Equal Opportunities Policy is designed to demonstrate that an employer treats all its employee fairly and should set out the organisations approach to equal opportunities and the avoidance of discrimination at work.
The Policy should apply to all aspects of employment with, including recruitment, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment.
To access a copy of our Equal Opportunities Policy template click here.