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Website URL : http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3128

The Equality Act becomes law: Acas explains the changes

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Businesses need to review and update their current policies and procedures to reflect changes in the Equality Act.

Acas, the employment relations service, has launched the first in a series of new podcasts explaining key changes under the new Equality Act that come into effect from 1 October 2010.

Steve Williams, Acas' Head of Equality said:

"One of the issues we have had enquiries about relates to the outlawing of health related questionnaires in job application packs. This will mean a change for many workplaces and how they recruit. It will affect the interview and selection process so employers need to understand the changes and review their policies if needed."

Seventy thousand people have already accessed Acas guidance and more than a thousand people have booked Acas training to find out about the changes.

The new podcast explores the changes around pre-health questionnaires and is available to listen to at www.acas.org.uk/equalityact.

If you would like to speak to Steve Williams to discuss what the changes mean in practice please contact the Acas press office.

Notes for editors

The new Equality Act which comes into effect from the 1 October 2010 simplifies the previous nine Acts together into one unified Equality Act. The Acas quick start guidance, The Equality Act – what's new for employers? is available at www.acas.org.uk/equalityact.

Top tips

  1. Refresh your Equality and Diversity policy
  2. Check that your policies and practices don't disadvantage disabled people
  3. Make sure staff understand that harassment is unacceptable
  4. Don't ask health-related questions before making job offers
  5. Protect your employees from third party harassment
  6. Review your policy on pay discussions between employees
  7. Act on any employment tribunal recommendations
  8. Ensure your employees aren't victimised.

Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members.

If you would like to speak to an Acas expert on the Equality Act workplace changes or for other media enquiries please contact Clare Carter, Press and PR Manager on 020 7210 3688/Lou Owen, Media and Marketing Officer on 020 7210 3920.