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Government response
government response summary
The Government was very clear from the outset of the Gender Recognition Act consultation that we have no plans to amend or change the Equality Act 2010.
government response details
This Government believes that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.Currently, the Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination and unfair treatment across a number of ‘protected characteristics’ including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The coverage of this range of protected characteristics is extensive and the Government has no plans to add further protected characteristics to this list. The Act also provides protection against:• Direct discrimination - treating a person less favourably because of one of the non-discrimination grounds;• Indirect discrimination - where rules, policies or practices that are apparently neutral have a disproportionately adverse effect on a particular group of people;• Harassment - when a person experiences behaviour that makes them feel intimidated, humiliated, degraded, offended or which creates a hostile environment;• Victimisation - where a person is treated unfairly, punished, threatened with punishment or subjected to a detriment because they make a complaint about discrimination or give evidence when someone else makes a complaint (irrespective of whether the complaint is upheld). The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), established by the Equality Act 2006, has a monitoring and enforcement role over the Equality Act 2010. It has powers to compel compliance with the provisions of the Act. The EHRC also has powers to conduct investigations and take action where it suspects a breach of the discrimination provision to ensure that organisations avoid a continuation or repetition of that breach. It is for individuals to bring cases against employers or service providers they believe have discriminated against them unlawfully. Only the courts can determine the facts of each case and how the law should be applied. Government-funded helplines are available to advise and support people with discrimination concerns, and are a first point of contact in any discrimination case.Government Equalities Office
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