The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in both employment and accessing goods/services.
It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, bringing together the:
- Sex Discrimination Act 1975
- Race Relations Act 1976
- Disability Discrimination Act 1995
The Equality Act is a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all.
Definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010
According to the Equality Act, you are disabled if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to accomplish normal daily activities. The Equality Act does not apply in Northern Ireland.
The definition of ‘substantial’ is ‘more than minor’ and ‘long-term’ is defined as 12 months or more. Another category of disability is ‘progressive condition’, one that worsens over time. People with progressive conditions can be classed as disabled.