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The Law

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The Equality Act 2010 applies to England, Wales and Scotland. It provides a legal framework that protects the rights of all individuals and promotes a fair and more equal society.

We are all protected from unlawful treatment (that is, discrimination) due to our age, our sex (or gender), our race, our religion or belief (or lack of it), our sexual orientation, our marital or civil partnership status, any disability and circumstances related to pregnancy and maternity and transitioning between one gender to another. These human features are known as “protected characteristics”.

Employers must not discriminate against people on the basis of any of these characteristics – whether actual or perceived. They must also prevent harassment and victimisation of people on the basis of their protected characteristics (perceived or actual) or their association with people with any perceived or actual protected characteristics. 

Companies delivering services on behalf of the public sector might also be impacted by the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty.

There is much more information about the law in relation to FIR within the FIR Toolkit