Equality Act Codes of Practice and Technical Guidance
The Equality Act is the most significant piece of equality legislation for many years. It simplifies, streamlines and strengthens the law. It gives individuals greater protection from unfair discrimination and makes it easier for employers and companies to understand their responsibilities. It also sets a new standard for those who provide public services to treat everyone, with dignity and respect.
In line with our statutory powers, we have produced Codes of Practice on Employment, Services and Equal Pay. The main purpose of the Codes of Practice is to provide detailed explanations of the provisions in the Act and to apply legal concepts in the Act to everyday situations. This will assist courts and tribunals when interpreting the law and help lawyers, advisers, trades union representatives, human resources departments and others who need to apply the law. As with the Act, the Codes apply to England, Scotland and Wales.
The Codes set out clearly and precisely what the legislation means. They draw on precedent and case law and explain the implications of every clause in technical terms. These statutory codes are the authoritative source of advice for anyone who wants a rigorous analysis of the legislation's detail. For lawyers, advocates and human resources experts in particular, they will be invaluable.
These Codes of Practice became law on 6 April 2011.
You can purchase printed copies of the Codes from The Stationery Office (TSO) website or download on this page.
Code of Practice on Equal Pay
Download: Code of Practice on Equal Pay
Related pages - Equal pay
Code of Practice on Employment
Download: Code of Practice on Employment
Code of Practice on Services, Public Functions and Associations
Codes of Practice post consultation report
Our post consultation report highlights the concerns that stakeholders raised with us during the Equality Act Codes of Practice consultation period in 2010. The report explains how we addressed these concerns and how this stakeholder input has ultimately improved the final version of these Codes.
Technical Guidance introduction
The Commission is continuing to develop a range of guidance based on the Equality Act 2010 to support our stakeholders, and make it easier for them to make informed decisions about the Act. A key element of this guidance is the suite of statutory codes of practice, which explain the statutory provisions of the Equality Act 2010.
We had originally planned to produce statutory codes of practice on the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which came into force on 5 April 2011, and for statutory codes of practice for Schools and the Further and Higher Education (FEHE) sector. In the light of the Government's position not to lay codes before Parliament, the Commission has decided for now to produce the original text of these codes as technical guidance.
Technical guidance is a non-statutory version of a code, however it will still provide a formal, authoritative, and comprehensive legal interpretation of the PSED and education sections of the Act. It will also clarify the requirements of the legislation.
Our technical guidance will complement our existing suite of codes of practice and non-statutory guidance: take a look at our Equality Act guidance.
Technical guidance - Public Sector Equality Duty
The Public Sector Equality Duty was created by the Equality Act 2010, and replaces the race, disability and gender equality duties. We have produced a suite of new Technical Guidance to explain the needs of the PSED, outline the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and the specific duty regulations and provide practical approaches to complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty in England, Scotland and Wales. The guidance provides an authoritative, comprehensive and technical guide to the detail of the law. It will be invaluable to lawyers, advocates, human resources personnel, courts and tribunals, and everyone who needs to understand the law in depth, or apply it in practice.
New guidance June 2013
The Commission has produced dedicated Technical Guidance for Schools for both England and Scotland that outlines the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 on schools, in relation to provision of education and access to benefits, facilities or services, both educational and non-educational. It provides an authoritative, comprehensive and technical guide to the detail of the law.
It is aimed at those working in schools, lawyers, advocates, courts and tribunals, and everyone who needs to understand the law in depth, or apply it in practice.
This guidance has been discussed and consulted upon across the education sector, including school leaders, teachers and stakeholders, government departments and trade unions. Their contributions have enriched and improved the text, and we are grateful for their help.
While this guidance is not a statutory Code of Practice, it can be used as evidence in legal proceedings. The courts have said that a body subject to the equality duty that does not follow non-statutory guidance such as this will need to justify why it has not done so. However, such guidance does not in itself impose further duties to those set out in the statute.
The Wales guidance for schools What equality law means for you as an education provider in Wales: Schools was published in 2012. The guidance is available on the Wales section of the EHRC website at this link.
Schools and education authorities have had a duty to provide reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils since 2002 (originally under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (the DDA) and, from October 2010, under the Equality Act 2010). From 1 September 2012 the reasonable adjustments duty for schools and education authorities includes a duty to provide auxiliary aids and services for disabled pupils.
This guide will help school leaders and education authorities understand and comply with the reasonable adjustments duty, including the new auxiliary aids and services provision. It will also help disabled pupils and their parents understand the duty.
The focus of this guide is on the practical implementation of the reasonable adjustments duty in schools. It includes practical case studies showing how the duty can be applied in contexts which will be familiar to teachers.
This FEHE Technical Guidance sets out Equality Act 2010 requirements on further and higher education providers in relation to provision of education and access to benefits, facilities or services. These cover all of the services, facilities and benefits, both educational and non-educational that an education provider provides or offers to provide for students.This Technical Guidance applies to England, Scotland and Wales. However, education provided outside Great Britain may be covered by the Act.
Our post consultation report highlights the concerns that stakeholders raised with us during the FEHE guidance consultation period. The report explains how we addressed these concerns and how this stakeholder input has ultimately improved the final version.
Former Equality Commissions guidance
The former equality commissions had power to issue Codes of Practice containing practical guidance on matters such as promoting equality of opportunity and eliminating discrimination in their relevant fields.
The following Codes of Practice were issued by the legacy Commissions, (Disability Rights Commission, Commission for Racial Equality and Equal Opportunities Commission) and have now been replaced. Find out about the Equality Act Codes of Practice.
However, we are aware some of these documents may still be of value to individuals or organisations for historical purposes or because they contain a wide range of examples.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require a copy of one of the below publications.
- Code of Practice - Sex Discrimination
- Code of Practice on Equal Pay
- Gender Equality Duty - Code of Practice for England and Wales
- Gender Equality Duty- Code of Practice for Scotland
- Statutory Code of Practice on racial equality in employment
- Statutory Code of Practice on the Duty to Promote Race Equality
- Statutory Code of Practice on the Duty to Promote Race Equality in Scotland
- Statutory Code of Practice on Racial Equality in Housing: Scotland
- Statutory Code of Practice on Racial Equality in Housing: England
- Statutory Code of Practice on Racial Equality in Housing: Wales
- The Duty to Promote Disability Equality: Statutory Code of Practice: England and Wales
- The Duty to Promote Disability Equality: Statutory Code of Practice: Scotland
- Code of Practice: Employment and Occupation
- Code of Practice: Rights of Access: services to the public, public authority functions, private clubs and premises
The following are Codes issued prior to the introduction of the Equality Act 2010. We are still providing access to these old Codes but would ask you to bear in mind that they do not set out clearly and precisely the requirements under the Equality Act 2010 although they may be of assistance in providing guidance where the law has not changed substantially.
- Code of Practice: Trade Organisations and Qualifications Bodies DRC (PDF)
- Revised Code of Practice: Trade Organisations, Qualifications Bodies and General Qualifications Bodies DDA (PDF)
- Code of Practice for Schools - DDA (PDF)
- Code of Practice (revised) for providers of post-16 education and related services (DDA) (PDF)
- Code of Practice Provision and use of transport vehicles DDA (PDF)
Last Updated: 30 Jun 2014