Links to documents:
Access this URL ( Code of Practice (January 2011)[Link to copy hosted by Equality and Human Rights Commission]
Access this URL ( (May 2014)[Link to copy hosted by Equality and Human Rights Commission]
Download this file (servicescode.pdf)Statutory Code of Practice (January 2011)[Archive copy hosted by UK Trans Info]
Download this file (Supplement to the services CofP 07-05-14.pdf)Supplement (May 2014)[Archive copy hosted by UK Trans Info]

Brief Summary

This is a Statutory Code of Practice for services, public functions and associations regarding the Equality Act 2010. Although not legally binding, legislation says the courts must take this into account and therefore it should be treated as such.

The supplement is not statutory guidance, but is a guide to developments since the Code of Practice was published. It brings the reader up to date on the law as it stands on 31 March 2014.

Extract from Document

When the Act received Royal Assent in April 2010, it was a moment to celebrate. However, getting the legislation onto the statute books was not an end in itself. What matters is that it should lead to real change: more responsible behaviour from companies, more thoughtful planning of public services and, above all, greater confidence that people will be treated fairly as they go about their everyday lives.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has a key role to play in bringing the Act to life. We have a set of powerful tools to enforce the law. We can, for example, take organisations to court and intervene in individual discrimination cases. But we only want to intervene when things go wrong as a last resort. Our first priority is to provide information, support and encouragement so that organisations can get it right in the first place.

That is why we are publishing guidance that will give individuals, businesses, employers and public authorities the information they need to understand the Act, exercise their rights, and meet their responsibilities.

The guidance comes in two separate forms. The non-statutory guidance, available separately, is designed to be a first port of call for everyone who has an interest in equality. It is intended to be practical and accessible.

This document is a Statutory Code of Practice. This is the authoritative, comprehensive and technical guide to the detail of law. It will be invaluable to lawyers, advocates, human resources personnel, courts and tribunals, everyone who needs to understand the law in depth, or to apply it in practice. Reflecting the content of the Act itself, this Code replaces several existing codes, reuniting and, where necessary, harmonising their contents. The Code draws on case law and precedent to illustrate where and how different provisions can be brought to bear in real-life situations.

The initial texts that we drafted have been through a rigorous process of consultation. Colleagues in businesses, trade unions, charities, voluntary groups, government departments and other public bodies have all commented. Their contributions have enriched and improved the text immeasurably, and we are grateful for their help.

Clear and authoritative codes are vital to enable any law to fulfil its promise. We hope that this Code will help you use the Equality Act 2010 to the fullest extent possible.

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