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3. Interaction with Other Legislation


3.6  Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act became law in October 2010 and has two main purposes: to harmonise discrimination law and

strengthen the law to support progress on equality.  It replaced previous legislation (such as the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) and ensures consistency in what employers need to do to make the workplace a fair environment and to comply with the law. The Act places a new duty on certain public bodies to consider socio-economic disadvantage when making strategic decisions about how to exercise their functions. It also extends the circumstances in which a person is protected against discrimination, harassment or victimisation because of a protected characteristic. There are nine protected characteristics:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

The Act places duties on public authorities to collect key sensitive personal data such as ethnicity, disability and gender. The University may also be required to collect protected characteristic data by HESA at some point in the future. It should be noted that this may be withheld where it has the potential to identify individuals or a group with a particular protected characteristic.


3.7 Other Legislation

Data Protection legislation itself does not oblige institutions to disclose personal data to specific third parties, but states that personal data is exempt from the legislation's non-disclosure provisions where the disclosure is required by or under any enactment, by any rule of law, or by the order of a court.


Certain third parties can thus require disclosure of an individual's personal data by the University in order to meet other legislative requirements. Further guidance on this is in Section 8: Data Sharing.



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