What steps should employers take to ensure that their practices and procedures comply with the Equality Act 2010?
Employers should ensure that all their existing and any new policies and procedures are compatible with their duties under the Equality Act 2010.
For example, policies on equal opportunities and recruitment 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. These are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. The concepts of associative and perceptive discrimination should also be included in the policies where relevant.
In relation to reviewing and drafting contracts of employment, employers should be aware that a pay secrecy clause contained in an employee's contract of employment will be unenforceable where the employee is involved in a relevant pay discussion.
Employers should ensure that line managers are aware of the steps they should take to prevent harassment of employees and of how to act in response to allegations of harassment.
Staff involved with management or recruitment should be trained on the main provisions of the Act and recruitment processes should be reviewed and amended to ensure that any health-related questions asked are lawful under the Act.