2 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOWAll members of society have fundamental human rights. You need to appreciate how the law is used to protect and promote certain rights. For the groups of people who use services below, you need to consider their needs and the issues they face in society today and how current legislation seeks to address these needs, which for testing purposes will be limited to:children and young people, e.g. Every Child Matters;vulnerable adults, e.g. PoVA;people with disabilities, e.g. Disability Discrimination Act;minority ethnic groups, e.g. Race Relations Act;men and women, e.g. Sex Discrimination Act;older people, e.g. Equality Bill.You need to identify the appropriate piece of legislation that would protect the groups above and give an outline of the key features of the legislation. You need to know how the legislation protects their rights and aims to address their needs. You need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of named legislation in addressing their needs.
3 EQUALITY ACT 2010There used to be several different laws to protect people from discrimination on grounds of:• race• sex• sexual orientation (whether being lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual)• disability (or because of something connected with their disability)• religion or belief• being a transsexual person (trans-sexuality is where someone has changed, is changing or has proposed changing their sex – called ‘gender reassignment’ in law)• having just had a baby or being pregnant• being married or in a civil partnership (this applies only at work or if someone is being trained for work),• age (this applies only at work or if someone is being trained for work).The Equality Act 2010 simplifies the laws and puts them all together in one piece of legislation.
4 EQUALITY ACT 2010 KEY FEATURES OF THE ACT women have the right to breastfeed in public placesprohibits discrimination in education, employment, access to goods and services, management of premises, housing.covers direct and indirect discriminationcovers victimisation/harassmentchanged the definition of gender re-assignmentAllows for positive action. Discrimination on the basis of the perception of a protected characteristic is now an offence and you an actively set up training for a group such as travellers, gay people etcIncludes depression as a disabilityEmployers cannot ask questions about health in applicationsWomen & men can find out how much people on their organisation are paid and challenge if they are paid less (pay secrecy).Protects carers & those associated with protected people from discrimination (associative discrimination).
5 EQUALITY ACT 2010 KEY FEATURES OF THE ACT continued Gives more power to employment tribunals who can now recommend changes in a work place for all employees as well as the person who bought the case.You can make County Court claims if you are discriminated against when buying goods or getting services.You can also get support and advice from the Equality and Human Rights Commission:Established Government Equalities Office website:Acas (Advisory, Conciliation & Arbitration Service) can also provide support:You can also visit Citizens Advice Bureau
6 EQUALITY ACT 2010 STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES helps raise awareness gives people more rightsmore opportunities for women and men in societyclosed pay differentials to an extentmore equality in terms of job opportunitieshigh profile cases have been won and made employees think differentlyschool curriculum more equality and encouragement to partake in range of subjectssystem of redress/supporthelped to reduce a range of discriminationactivity of commission supports peoplelegislation alone does not reduce discrimination it still exists – need to work harder at changing attitudesmore emphasis needed within education, advertising, media etc to improve role models and reduce stereotypesdifficult to police the amount of discrimination occurring & hard to provestill big differences in pay between men and womentop positions often still held by mengender stereotyping still very influential e.g influence of the family/mediaCost & emotional stress and time to take cases to courtmany people unaware of their rightsfear of victimisation
7 TYPICAL EXAM QUESTIONS June 09 - Karenza has decided she wishes to return to work after the birth of her first child. Her employer tells her the job is not really appropriate for ‘someone with a baby’.(a) Name the legislation that makes such discrimination illegal.(b) Analyse how this legislation could support Karenza.June 10 - Name one piece of legislation which seeks to protect the rights of people with disabilities. Identify three areas where this legislation applies.Describe the key features of a relevant piece of legislation of yourchoice protecting race.Discuss possible reasons why the implementation of this legislation has not necessarily stopped discrimination against minority ethnic groups in the UK.