The Equality Act 2010 - how does it affect consumer law?

It’s amazing how many people I meet in my business life who are aware that laws exist relating to equality, but STILL don’t realise that UK equality law doesn't just apply to recruitment, but also covers how companies deal with their customers.
In fact, many people incorrectly cite the 'Race Relations Act' and the 'Sex Discrimination Act' as being examples of UK equality legislation, when these two laws no longer exist, and have been replaced by The Equality Act 2010.

The Equality Act does not just cover employment law. It also covers:
1. businesses which provide goods or services like banks, shops, or utility companies
2. health and care providers such as hospitals or care homes
3. someone you rent or buy a property from like housing associations and estate agents
4. schools, colleges and other education providers
5. transport services such as buses, trains and taxis
6. public bodies like government departments and local authorities

The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to discriminate against customers in the provision of goods and services on the basis of:
1. Gender
2. Gender reassignment
3. Sexual orientation
4. Pregnancy and maternity
5. Disability
6. Religion (or lack of one)
7. Age
8. Race 
(Incidentally, the Equality Act 2010 also prevents discrimination on the basis of marriage or civil partnership as well, but this only applies to employment law and not to consumer law).

The Equality Act also:
1. Prevents employers from discriminating against people who have responsibilities of care for family members outside of the workplace
2. Requires employers to prevent bullying and harassment and stop those who make complaints being victimised because of it
3. Requires that employers make reasonable adjustments to the workplace to accommodate the needs of disabled people
4. Requires employers to devise and implement equality policies and procedures

Equality Act Training
If you run any type of business (even if you are a sole trader) then it is essential that you fully understand the Equality Act and what impact it has on your company. Darren Bugg (the editor of this blog) is an expert on the Act and provides cost-effective half day training courses for companies of all sizes - click here for more details.

About Darren Bugg
In addition to being legally qualified, Darren is also a fully qualified trainer and works as a lecturer in Management and Leadership at postgraduate level and Business Studies at undergraduate level. He frequently covers the Equality Act (and other areas of business law) in his postgraduate teaching and lecturing work.
Darren is registered with the UK Register of Learning Providers (Registration Number: 10037132) and holds a recognised Award in education and training, along with all the certifications required by the UK Department for Education including DBS and diplomas in Equality, Diversity and Safeguarding.

Click here for more details about Darren’s courses