04 October 2010 #Employment
That`s right. After many blogs regarding the commencement of the Equality Act 2010, the majority of its provisions are now in force.
It will be pretty much business as usual for employers, as the act is mainly a tidy up of the previous discrimination law. Employers will still need to take the same steps to avoid discrimination in their organisations as they always did.
The main change for employers to consider is the prohibition on pre employment health questionnaires except in specified circumstances. Basically, if you don`t need to know about your employees` health in order for them to do the job, you can`t ask them about it prior to offering them a job.
Pay secrecy clauses contained in employees` contracts will also now be unenforceable where the employee is involved in a relevant pay discussion.
Employers will also need to review and, if necessary, amend their existing policies and procedures. For example, policies regarding equal opportunities should clearly state that it is unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly in recruitment or employment because of any of the nine "protected characteristics" in the Equality Act 2010 (disability, Sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, and Age) The concepts of associative and perceptive discrimination should also be explained and Managers should be made aware of the need to prevent third-party harassment against employees, and trained on what to do if they receive such complaints.