An employer can ask about health issues before employing a member of staff, to:
- decide if reasonable adjustments need to be made for the individual during the selection process
- decide whether an applicant can carry out a function that is an essential part of the role
- check that the candidate has a specific disability where having this is a genuine requirement of the role
- monitor diversity
- take positive action to help disabled people
Following the offer of employment, an employer can ask health-related questions, but must be careful not to discriminate.
Men and women are entitled to equal pay for:
- work of equal value
- like work, or
- work rated as equivalent
Read the Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance on these definitions
Employers with 250 or more employees must publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap.
Read government guidance on gender pay gap reporting
Employers cannot prevent employees discussing their pay if this is to find out if they are being discriminated against. Any employment contract clauses that prevent this are not enforceable.
Seeking or making a relevant pay disclosure or receiving relevant information is a protected act covered by the victimisation provisions of the Equality Act 2010.
Duty to make reasonable adjustments
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers and service providers must make reasonable adjustments for disabled people so they are not disadvantaged.
An employer must make a reasonable adjustment when they are made aware of or could be expected to know that an employee has a disability. In terms of service provision, the duty is anticipatory, and adjustments should be made in advance so that access to services is not restricted.
Read schedule 2 and schedule 8 of the Act for more information.
Harassment and victimisation
Harassment occurs when a person engages in unwanted conduct that is related to a relevant protected characteristic and has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment.
The Equality Act forbids:
- unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, or that is related to gender reassignment or sex
- less favourable treatment because a person submits to or rejects sexual harassment or harassment related to sex
As an employer you may be liable if:
- the harassment happened with your knowledge on at least two occasions
- you have not taken reasonable steps to prevent the harassment
Victimisation happens when people subject others to less favourable treatment because they carry out any of these actions:
- bring proceedings under the act
- give evidence or information in proceedings brought under the act
- do anything related to the provisions of the act
- make an allegation that another person has done something in breach of the act