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5 years on from the EA10 - Should the armed forces remain a special case?

Ball, Richard

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Rick Ball
Senior Lecturer in Law


The Equality Act 2010 amalgamated and enhanced previous anti-discrimination laws with s 4 providing a list of protected characteristics for which direct (s 13) and indirect (s 19) discrimination was outlawed, along with harassment (s 26) and victimisation (s 27). When exercising a public function s 29(6) prohibited a person from conducting this outlawed discriminatory behaviour. However, when it came to age, disability, gender reassignment and sex s 4(1) of Part 1 of Schedule 3 disapplied this “for the purpose of ensuring the combat effectiveness of the armed forces”. Discrimination in employment was also prohibited by s 39 but there was a further “combat effectiveness” exception for the military where the “relevant requirement” was either to be a man or not to be a transsexual person (Sch 9, Part 1, s 4) and the whole of Part 5 on Work did not apply to service in the armed forces for claims of discrimination based on age or disability (Sch 9 Part 1 s 4(3)).
The armed forces therefore were considered by Parliament to be a special case and so excluded from much of the general framework of the anti-discrimination provisions of the EA10. This paper will consider developments since the adoption of the Act, examine whether the armed forces’ special position should be maintained or not and make recommendations for the future.


Ball, R. (2015, June). 5 years on from the EA10 - Should the armed forces remain a special case?. Paper presented at The Equality Act 2010: Five years on, University of Chester

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name The Equality Act 2010: Five years on
Conference Location University of Chester
Start Date Jun 22, 2015
End Date Jun 22, 2015
Deposit Date Sep 18, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 15, 2016
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords military, equality, non-discrimination, sex, race, age, disability
Public URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Five Years on from the Equality Act 2010


EA10 Armed Forces Special Case.pptx (213 Kb)

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