Weekly Roundup: 14th November 2022: Equality Act in Jeopardy

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Equality Act in Jeopardy

James Rocha Sharp

The PM plans to review the Equality Act 2010 and the rights of Trans and non-binary people. The planed amendments, according to reports, include the definition of sex as biological sex, rather than gender. Currently, people are protected from discrimination on the basis of both sex and gender reassignment, meaning their biological sex is irrelevant under the Act. This ensures legal protection against discrimination in employment, education, when renting or buying property, in the provision of services and in the public sphere. If Sunak’s amendments went ahead, trans women would be excluded from competing in women’s sports, using single-sex facilities and women’s refuges.

The Act also states that it is not necessary for people to have any medical diagnosis. The case law in Taylor v Jaguar Land Rover Limited set that “a person could be at any point of the spectrum” to be afforded protection under the act. Therefore, widening the scope and including non-binary and gender fluid people as well as those that have begun the journey without any formal certification. A situation where the PM’s proposals are enacted would create a headache for police and employment lawyers. The SRA provides guidance to fulfil the obligations placed on by the act as well as how to create a conducive environment to promote diversity and inclusion.