The Equality Act is really important because it means that people get treated fairly. It also protects us from discrimination.
Equality means that everyone has the same chance to do what they can. Some people may need extra help to get the same chances. The Equality Act helps with this.
Discrimination is where someone is treated unfairly because of who you are.
A Little Summary of the Equality Act
What is Protected by the Equality Act?
The Equality protects you from discrimination because of:
- gender reassignment
- marriage or civil partnership (only when in employment)
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
These are called protected characteristics.
The Equality Act also protects you if you are treated unfairly because someone in your family or friends has one of these characteristics.
The Equality Act protects you if you make a complaint about discrimination either for yourself or for someone else.
When are you Protected under the Equality Act?
You are protected from discrimination by:
- business and organisations which provide services or goods like shops.
- health and social care providers like hospitals
- landlords and housing associations
- schools and colleges
- bus, trains, tube and taxis
- local council
- government departments like Work and Pensions.
Better Protection for People with Disabilities
The Equality Act has rules which protect people with disabilities.
These rules make sure:
- reasonable adjustments are made to remove barriers that a person with a disability would face otherwise, like in hospitals, in work and in shops.
- information is accessible so that everyone understands, like letters from the council.
- building are accessible, for example having a ramp.
- employers are treating people with disabilities equally including before employment.
Where To Get Help, If Treated Unfairly.
If you feel you have been discriminated against you can talk to:
- One-to-One (Enfield)
- Support Workers
- Social Worker
- Citizens Advice Bureau in Enfield. Their advice line is 0300 330 1167
- Enfield Connections. You can contact them on 0203 960 0129
Alex talks about how important transgender rights are and how they are protected under the Equality Act.
“Under the Equality Act, gender reassignment discrimination is when you treat people unfairly or without respect because they are transgender. This can include being rude about physical,mental and other characteristics or disrespecting the gender that we identify as. It is our right to be called by our preferred pronoun and new name and it is against the law if you don’t do this on purpose. We also have the right to get married to who we like.”
“We are able to change our name. Some people respect this. However others don’t and do not try to remember the new name.” This is an example of discrimination. Alex has said that “most people are trying to use my new name correctly.”