Sarah-Marie Williams and Alice Sweet of Clyde & Co LLP begin a
series of articles on the impact of the Equality Act 2010 on the law relating to
harassment, with an overview that looks at how the Equality Act 2010 widens the
definition of unlawful harassment and extends liability on employers for
harassment by a third party, which is currently limited to sexual harassment, to
other discrimination strands.
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 received Royal Assent on 8 April 2010. When
it comes into force, the Act will bring together the existing strands of
anti-discrimination legislation with the aim of adopting a single approach to
the different strands.
The majority of the Act is due to come into force on 1 October
2010 (see the Government
Equalities Office website) although a commencement order bringing
into effect its main provisions has not yet been published. The Government has
already made commencement orders enabling subordinate legislation to be enacted
and guidance to be issued to support the Act and has made other orders to
supplement the Act (see Single
Equality Act introduced (1 October 2010) in the XpertHR legal
As well as harmonising many aspects of equality legislation, the
Act brings about a number of changes to the law, including changes and new
provisions in respect of harassment.