About this section

In the previous section we talked about why equality is important in CLD work. There is a strong legislative framework to ensure that people from equalities groups are not discriminated against. There are three key areas of the law that people working in CLD need to be aware of at the moment:

  • Laws which protect human rights
  • Laws to protect people from discrimination
  • Laws to ensure services are planned and provided to everyone

The law on equality changed on 6 April when the Equality Act 2010 received Royal Assent. It simplifies legislation by consolidating and streamlining existing law, and also extends legal protection to a wide range of groups that face discrimination. The new legislation is intended to deliver a simple, modern and accessible framework of discrimination law which protects individuals and promotes a fair and more equal society.

The main provisions in the Act came into force in October 2010 with the integrated public sector Equality Duty becoming effective from April 2011. The next few sections cover the main areas of the current law you need to understand and consider.

As CLD practitioners it is important to be aware of these laws and take account of them. Not doing so could mean we are breaching the law. But you should view these laws as minimum standards rather than best practice.