Equality Act timeline

Equality Act key dates

  • 26 June 2008: Harriet Harman, Leader of the House of Commons, announced the new Single Equality Bill.
  • 27 April 2009: the government published the Equality Bill.
  • 6 April 2010: the Equality Bill completed its parliamentary process, as MPs approved all Lords amendments.
  • 8 April 2010: the Bill received Royal Assent and becomes an Act of Parliament.
  • 1 October 2010: the majority of the Act came into force from this date. See Legal dates below for more detail.
  • April 2011: Further provisions came into force from this date. Legal dates dates below for more detail.

Legal dates

The timeline for the different parts of the Equality Act to have legal effect and for publication of the practical guidance and legal codes of practice, is:

Employment; Equal pay; and Services, public functions and associations

  • Came into force: October 2010
  • Guidance published: July 2010
  • Code of Practice published January 2011

Education (further and higher education)

Education (schools)

  • Came into force: October 2010
  • Guidance published: July 2010
  • Draft Code of Practice to be laid before Parliament: Spring 2012.

Public sector equality duty

  • General Duty came into force: April 2011
  • Specific Duties came into force 10 September 2011
  • Guidance published: January 2011
  • Revised guidance to reflect the amendments to the Specific Duties published by January 2012
  • Draft Code of Practice being prepared.

Age protection outside the workplace

  • Comes into force: expected April 2012

Please note: these dates (particularly the Schools Code of Practice) are subject to change where further regulations are awaited.

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