The Equality Act 2010
Manchester has a proud history of meeting and beating its legal requirements on equality, and the Council is committed to continuing this trend in line with the current legislation in this area: the Equality Act 2010 (the Act).
The Act brings together all the legal requirements on equality that the private, public and voluntary sectors need to follow, replacing all previous equality law such as the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
The Act protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the basis of their 'protected characteristics'. These are: sex; gender reassignment; race; disability; sexual orientation; age; religion or belief (or lack of religion or belief); pregnancy and maternity and; marriage or civil partnership.
Under section 149 of the Act, 'the Public Sector Equality Duty', public bodies like Manchester City Council need to have 'due regard' in everything that they do to the need to:
1. Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act;
2. Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not;
3. Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
Having due regard involves the Council:
i) Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics;
ii) Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people;
iii) Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low
The values of a fair and equal society that underpin the Act are at the heart of the Council's ambitions for the city. Manchester City Council will meet and, where possible, exceed its legal requirements under the Act, to deliver the best equality outcomes for the city that it can.