The Equality Act 2010 came into force on 1 October 2010. This important piece of legislation strengthened and streamlined equality legislation.
Much of the Act brought forward and streamlined previous legislation and created some new protections. The Equality Act 2010 provides explicit protection for transsexual people – people who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone the process of changing their sex.
These people have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment. Protection is provided from discrimination in employment, services and public functions.
The Act changed the law in several ways:
- The definition of gender reassignment makes clear that a person does not have to be under medical supervision to be protected from discrimination;
- It provides protection against direct discrimination that arises because the victim is wrongly perceived to be undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment. This may cover others within the wider transgender community
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