The new legislation provides protection for people who are discriminated against because they are perceived to have, or are associated with someone who has, a protected characteristic; for example, a carer of a disabled person. This, however, does not apply to marriage and civil partnership or pregnancy and maternity.

The Act applies to persons who possess any of the following 9 ‘protected characteristics’

Portsmouth City Council is committed to ensuring that the services we offer, policies we design and functions we perform take into account needs of people of all ages.

Whilst we ensure that our residents, visitors and employees are not discriminated against because of their age, a lot of our initiatives are targeted at particular age groups in order to meet their particular needs. Follow the link to read our Ageing population strategy 2010-20.

In 2010, the government introduced a ban on age discrimination in the provision of services and the performance of public functions under the Equality Act 2010. The ban applies to:

  • providers of goods, services or facilities, such as retailers, shopkeepers, banks
  • persons or organisations carrying out public functions, such as government departments or local councils
  • persons or organisations that run an 'association' such as a private members club

Age discrimination occurs when people are treated differently because of their age and such treatment is not unfavourable. There are some situations when differential treatment because of age will be allowed by law, such as if:

  • one of the exceptions applies, such as:
    - age-based concessions, such as any sort of discount, special arrangement or special offer available only to people of particular age or belonging to particular age group)
    - exceptions allowed by other pieces legislation, for example free bus passes for pensioners.
  • positive action is taken to treat people of certain age differently in other to meet their specific needs or to compensate for disadvantages that they might be experiencing
  • a policy or practice can be 'objectively justified', which means that there exists a good reason for the policy or practice

For more information on the age discrimination ban, follow the link to Equality and Human Rights. The Home Office has also produced some brief guidance on the ban.

Employment

The government's Age Positive initiative brings together research and information from employers on effectively managing an ageing workforce, as well as providing guidance for employers and business leaders setting out the business benefits of recruiting, retaining and training older workers, effective age management practices and the removal of the fixed retirement age.

The law on age and retirement has changed. From 2011, there is no longer a default retirement age. This means employers cannot issue notifications of retirement using the default retirement age procedure.

Although significant progress in gender equality has taken place in recent generations, there remain barriers to sex equality, fuelled by entrenched social perceptions of roles of women and men in our society.

Portsmouth City Council is committed to eliminating these remaining barriers by ensuring that people are not discriminated on the basis of sex in its service delivery, performance of functions, design of polices and in the way it treats its workforce. Our system of Equality Impact Assessments requires the Council services to consider impact of our new projects and initiatives or changes to existing services on, amongst other characteristics, women and men before any decision is made.

We also carry out regular Equality census among our workforce to, among other equality issues, monitor equal pay.

For further information on gender equality see the Home Office website.

Disability discrimination is now prohibited by the Equality Act 2010 which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in October 2010.

Under the Equality Act 2010, a person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

The Act has introduced new positive action provisions which allow disabled people to be treated more favourably than people who do not have a disability in order to help them overcome their disadvantages or to meet their specific needs. This is also permitted with relation to people with a particular disability.

The new Equality law has also introduced ‘The duty to make reasonable adjustments to remove barriers for disabled people’

In an employment situation, the new legislation restricts the circumstances in which employers can ask job applicants questions about their disability or health. This makes it more difficult for employers to apply a selection process that would enable them to unfairly vet job applicants.

It is a criminal offence if a person is attacked or abused physically or verbally because of their disability. If you or a member of your family has experienced any such unlawful conduct, you should report it to the police. The police now have a dedicated website called ‘True Vision’ where people can report hate crime.

Transgender is a term which is used to describe people whose gender identity (self-identification as being a woman, man, neither or both) differs from the sex they were registered with at birth. 

Gender identity and transgenderism are different and separate from sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is how someone defines their sexual attraction and is not linked to how one defines their internal sense of gender.

A person who is transgender is protected from discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 if s/he is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process to change their sex.

A transgender person no longer needs to show that they are under medical supervision to quality for protection from discrimination.

The Gender Recognition Act 2004, for the first time, allowed people to have their true gender recognised by law. The Act also safeguards privacy by banning authorities disclosing information about their gender reassignment.

Hate Crime

It is a criminal offence if a person is attacked or abused physically or verbally because of their gender change. If you or a member of your family has experienced any such unlawful conduct, you should report it to the police. The police now have a dedicated website called  ‘True Vision’ where people can report hate crime.

Alternatively, you can contact our Hate Crime Service, which provides anonymous support to victims of, among other types, transphobic crime.

The Equality Act 2010 has introduced a new protected characteristic of pregnancy and maternity, which protects all pregnant women and new mothers (up to 26 weeks after birth) from discrimination.

The new legislation strengthens the position of breastfeeding mothers by making it unlawful to discriminate against them. This in practice means that those who provide services, goods or facilities to women must allow them to breastfeed if they wish to do so. 

The Equality Act 2010 has replaced the Race Relations Act 1979. Under the new legislation, race includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins. The new law prohibits discrimination of people on the basis of their race.

Portsmouth City Council is committed to race equality and it recognises and champions our diverse resident communities. We actively work with different racial community groups in the city in tackling their issues and promoting good relations between them.

Hate Crime

It is a criminal offence if a person is attacked or abused physically or verbally because of their race. If you or a member of your family has experienced any such unlawful conduct, you should report it to the police. The police now have a dedicated website called ‘True Vision’ where people can report hate crime.

Alternatively, you can contact our Hate Crime Service, which provides anonymous support to victims of, among other types, racially motivated crime.

Forced Marriage

The Government is planning to make Forced Marriage a criminal offence. In the meantime, there are ways of protecting yourself or others from Forced Marriage and there are various organisations that can assist you in getting help if you suspect that you or someone else may be emotionally or physically forced into marrying someone. For more information, please visit The Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Portsmouth has wealth of religious and belief diversity. Portsmouth residents have developed some very strong faith communities which remain active participants in the wider community.

Religion or belief is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, and includes any religion and any religious or philosophical belief. ‘Religion’ means any religion and includes a lack of religion. A religion, to come under the definition of ‘religion’ for the purposes of Equality Law, does not need to be well known, but it must have a clear structure and belief system.

‘Belief’ means any religious or philosophical belief and includes a lack of belief. Examples of philosophical belief beliefs include Humanism and Atheism. A belief does not need to include faith or worship of a God or Gods, but must affect how a person lives their live or perceives the world.

Hate crime

It is a criminal offence if a person is attacked or abused physically or verbally because of their religion or belief, or because of their lack of religion or belief. If you or a member of your family experiences any such unlawful conduct, you should report it to the police. The police now have a dedicated website called  ‘True Vision’  where people can report hate crime.

Alternatively, you can contact our Hate Crime Service, which provides anonymous support to victims of, among other types, religiously motivated crime.

Inter faith co-operation

The traditions of all major faiths contain teachings commending the fundamental values of equality and respect, which are very important to community cohesion. There are now a large number of inter-faith and multi-faith local bodies in the UK. These bodies play a key role in bringing people of different faiths together to:

  • increase trust, mutual understanding and respect
  • help defuse inter-community tensions; build community cohesion; provide advice and information on religious issues
  • foster co-operation on local issues
  • work jointly on social and educational projects

The Inter Faith Network for the UK links representative bodies of the faith communities, national, regional and local inter faith organisations, and educational and academic bodies with a focus on inter faith and multi faith issues. It works with its member bodies to contribute to community cohesion through deepening inter faith understanding and cooperation at all levels.

Portsmouth has strong and active faith communities that contribute to the promotion of shared values and cultural diversity of the city. We continue to work with these communities and promote good relations and respect between them as well as with other communities in the city.

Sexual orientation means a person’s sexual attraction towards:

  • persons of the same sex (that is, the person is a gay man or a lesbian)
  • persons of the opposite sex (that is, the person is heterosexual)
  • persons of either sex (that is, the person is bisexual)

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for public bodies, goods and service providers, associations and employers to discriminate against a person because of their sexual orientation, or because they perceive a person to be of a particular sexual orientation. It is also against the law to discriminate against a person because they associate with someone who is of a particular sexual orientation. 

Civil Partnership

Civil Partnership Act 2004 provides a legal framework for same-sex couples to arrange their lives together including mutual responsibilities and financial matters. It gives same-sex couples who wish to make a commitment to each other an option different to marriage, but with similar rights and responsibilities.

The government is currently considering introducing equal rights civil marriage for same-sex couples. The public consultation on this issue has taken place and the Government will publish its response by the end of 2012. Currently, civil marriages are only open to opposite sex couples and civil partnerships are only open to same sex couples.

Homophobic crime

If you have been a victim of a crime and you think that this might have been motivated by your sexuality or sexuality of someone you know, you may have experienced homophobic hate crime.

If you have been a victim of homophobic hate crime, report it to the police. The police now have a dedicated website called ‘True Vision’ where people can report hate crime.

Generally, sentences for crimes proven to have been motivated by a person’s sexuality will be tougher and the police will treat your report of such crime very seriously.

Alternatively, or in addition to reporting the homophobic crime to the police, you can get support from our Hate Crime Service.

People who are married or in a civil partnership are protected from discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. Under the Act, public bodies are required to consider the need to eliminate discrimination on the basis that a person is married or in a civil partnership when they decide on policies, services, projects and strategies.

Employees are protected from discrimination because they are married or in a civil partnership under the same Act.

Keywords

Tags Open / Close

Related subjects Open / Close

Rate this page