New Guidance on Equality Act 2010 for further and higher education providers

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has recently published Technical Guidance on the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) for further and higher education providers.

It is born out of a post-consultation report that debated the content of the guidance and what form it should take. It ultimately decided that the publication should constitute technical guidance rather than a code of practice. As such, the guidance does not have the standing of a statutory code but can be used as evidence in legal proceedings.

The guidance sets out the requirements for further and higher education providers with regard to provision of education and access to benefits, facilities and services, both educational and non-educational.

The chapters cover:                                                                        

·         The protected characteristics;

·         Direct and indirect discrimination;

·         Harassment and victimisation;

·         Disability, reasonable adjustments and positive action;

·         The specific duties owed by education providers;

·         Enforcement of the duties.

It contains several detailed examples to illustrate points, making reference to the legislation throughout.

The guidance helpfully discusses the many duties education providers owe under various parts of the Act and explores them in some depth. It does not, however, discuss the duties of an education provider as an employer - this must be found in the separate Employment Code of Practice, which is statutory.

The guidance is described as acting as an aid to lawyers, advisors, the courts, tribunals and those with some knowledge of the law, rather than as a practical guide. In this respect, it should be used in conjunction with other codes and guidance to gain a greater understanding of the practical application of the law.

Geraldine Swanton
Senior Associate Solicitor
Education Team
For and on behalf of SGH Martineau LLP
DD: 0800 763 1455
F: 0800 763 1001
International DD: +44 870 763 1385

From → General Interest

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