The Equality Act 2010 is the key piece of equality legislation in England, Scotland and Wales, replacing the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Race Relations Act 1976 and the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. Students’ Unions have a duty to meet the requirements under the Equality Act 2010.

The Act outlines prohibited conduct, which includes discrimination, victimisation and harassment for the same groups that were protected by existing equality legislation and extends protections to groups not previously covered. The groups covered by the Act are known as protected characteristics and they are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership (in the context of employment only)
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins)
  • Religion or belief (including lack of belief )
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Equality Act 2010: implications for colleges and HEIs revised

Equality Challenge Unit briefing summarising key issues in the Equality Act 2010 for higher education institutions, colleges and other 'designated institutions'.

Equality Act 2010: implications for students’ unions

Equality Challenge Unit and NUS briefing highlighting the key implications of equality legislation on students' unions. This briefing will be useful for students' union staff at all levels as well as sabbatical and non-sabbatical officers.

Equality Act guidance for charities: restricting who can benefit from charities

Guidance from the Charity Commission. 

Equality Act guidance, codes of practice and technical guidance

A suite of guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The Equality Act – what’s new for employers?

Acas quick start guide for employers.

What equality law means for you as a student in further or higher education

This Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance explains a student’s equality rights in further or higher education.

What equality law means for your voluntary and community sector organisation (including charities and religion or belief organisations)

Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance.