We are sharing this update from ACCA, our professional body, for the interest of clients and contacts. The content is (c) ACCA

EU-derived anti-discrimination laws continue to apply from 1 January 2024, that would otherwise have automatically ceased to apply from that date following Brexit.

The UK government has introduced draft regulations to preserve in domestic law certain discrimination rights and principles derived from EU law which might otherwise fall away or be departed from following the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act (REUL Act).

The relevant laws relate to pregnancy, maternity and breastfeeding, indirect discrimination, access to employment and occupation, equal pay and the definition of disability. The following are retained:

  • ‘indirect discrimination by association’ – discrimination against someone who, while not themselves having a protected characteristic such as disability or age, is disadvantaged by a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ at work in the same way as someone who does have such a characteristic
  • the requirement that, when considering whether a physical or mental impairment affects a worker’s ability to participate in ‘day-to-day activities’ (which is relevant when considering whether they are disabled or not), employers must take into account the worker’s ability to participate fully and effectively in working life on an equal basis with other workers
  • the rule that statements made by an employer that they do not wish to recruit workers with certain protected characteristics are unlawful discrimination, even if the employer is not recruiting at the time and there is no specific victim
  • the use of equal pay comparators from different businesses, provided the same body sets pay for both – a ‘single source’ test
  • the rule that discrimination because of breastfeeding is discrimination on grounds of sex.

Effective from January 2024, employers should ensure they continue to work within the anti-discrimination rules.