Who is covered by the Equality Act?

The Equality Act covers all employers, and all employees and agency workers, regardless of the size of the business. It also covers job applicants and former staff.

The Equality Act also covers the Police or armed forces, and people on practical work experience, whether paid or unpaid. However, some volunteers are excluded from the protection of the employment provisions of the Equality Act.

The Equality Act covers people with a disability and also those who are not disabled but who the employer mistakenly believes to have a disability. This is known as perception discrimination. For example, it would be unlawful disability discrimination if an employer were to select an employee for redundancy because he wrongly believed she had cancer.

It also protects those who suffer discrimination because they associate with the disabled, for example as their carers. This is known as associative discrimination.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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