With the Equality Act 2010 came some important new rules about discrimination.
While best practice remained broadly the same as before, and the act meant to streamline the existing law, there were some important changes. These are important, because there is no limit on the penalties for discrimination.
Here are the top 5.
1. Outlawed – discrimination by association or perception
People are able to bring discrimination claims in most areas (i.e. on grounds of sex, race, age, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment but not marital or civil partnership status) even if they do not belong to that group themselves, but because you think they do, or because they have an association with someone who does.
For instance, an employee could claim for disability discrimination if they have been treated detrimentally because one of their family members is disabled. They would not have to have a disability themselves.
2. Outlawed – discrimination by outsiders in your workplace
An employer can be liable if they do not take reasonable steps to stop an outsider from harassing one of their workers when they know this has happened before.
3. Outlawed – pre-employment health enquiries
Such questions should only be asked for limited specific reasons, for example to find out whether an applicant will be able to “carry out a function which is intrinsic to the work concerned”.
4. Unenforceable – pay secrecy clauses
Detrimental treatment because a worker has asked about another person’s pay, or has been involved in these discussions are also outlawed.
5. Outlawed – unjustified treatment relating to disability
The new legislation outlaws unjustified treatment relating to a person’s disability, for instance, having a guide dog or a poor attendance record. Unjustified policies which put or would put disabled people generally at a disadvantage are also outlawed.