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Equality Act 2006

The Equality Act (2006) (2006 c3) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom covering the United Kingdom, and covers the following areas – the creation of the Commission on Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), replacing the current equality commissions – the Commission for Racial Equality, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Disability Rights Commission, the outlawing of discrimination on goods and services on the grounds of religion and belief (subject to certain exemptions) and allows the Government to introduce regulations outlawing discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation in goods and services in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the Sexual Orientation Regulations 2006) and a provision relating to the creation of a public duty to promote equality on the ground of gender.

With the exception of the provision relating to goods and services discrimination in Northern Ireland on the grounds of sexual orientation, the Act relates to equality law in Great Britain as a separate legislative framework exists for Northern Ireland which also has a separate equality body, the Northern Ireland Equality Commission (though by and large reflecting the general approach to equality legislation in Great Britain).

The Equality Act (2006) is a precursor to a promised Single Equality Act, whose aim is to combine all of the equality enactments within Great Britain and provide comparable protections across all equality strands. Those explicitly mentioned by the Equality Act (2006) include age; disability; gender; proposed; commenced or completed gender reassignment; race; religion or belief and sexual orientation.

Further promised legislation also includes a provision to provide for protection for people in the provision of goods and services on the grounds of gender reassignment in order to comply with an EU Directive.

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Page created for T-Vox by Jennifer Kirk based on information from OPSI and Wikipedia.