The effect of Brexit on The Equality Act 2010

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Written and produced by Maria Vittoria Morandi. BLS Pro Bono Group would like to thank Paul McConnell for his involvement in this blog.

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union raised concerns regarding the future of equality law in relation to employment and workers’ rights. Equality law in the UK always had a tight connection with European Law, with the latter being the legislative source for various UK statutes and regulations concerning workers’ rights.

However, from the 1st of January 2021, the binding force of EU law was removed, allowing the British Parliament to amend or even repeal the fundamental rights to equality, mainly contained in the Equality Act 2010.

In conversation with The University of Birmingham’s lecturer, Paul McConnell, this interview will seek to provide an overview of the Equality Act 2010 by considering who it protects and from what types of discrimination it protects against. Secondly, we will discuss the effects of Brexit on the Equality Act and consider both the short-term consequences on discrimination claims and long-term consequences, such as potential amendments that might be made to the legislation.

Interview questions

Part 1:

1. What is the Equality Act 2010 and who does it protect?

2. Section 4 of the Equality Act 2020 lists 9 protected characteristics. The Act offers protection to these characteristics against the following: – Direct Discrimination – Indirect Discrimination – Harassment – Victimisation May you briefly describe these acts of discrimination in the workplace?

3. How likely is it for an employee to bring a claim under the Equality Act 2010, and what are the options available?

4. Having discussed how the Equality Act 2010 operates, do you believe its implementation impacted or changed the field of employment law?

Part 2:

1. Will UK courts and tribunals still be expected to interpret the Equality Act so as to comply with the EU Framework Employment Directive?

2. Will pre-2021 case law still apply in employment tribunals when settling a discrimination or harassment claim? What happens in the event that a discrimination claim arose before January 1st, 2021, and is yet to be decided?

3. In the event that the Equality Act 2010 was to be amended, which parts do you think are more likely to be the subject of amendments?

4. Finally, do you think Brexit will pose further challenges or threats to employment law?

Let us know what you think and comment below!

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