By Francesca James

Provisions to make it easier for business to comply with discrimination law will be introduced from October the Government Equalities Office (GEO) confirmed today.

The Equality Act brings together nine separate pieces of legislation into one single Act simplifying the law and reducing the burden on business by making it easier for firms to comply with discrimination law.

The first wave of implementation of the Equality Act will go ahead to the planned October timetable following the publication of the first commencement order in Parliament next week. This will pave the way for the implementation of landmark provisions to protect disabled people from discrimination and tackle the gender pay gap.

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May said:

"By making the law easier to understand, the Equality Act will help business treat staff fairly and meet the needs of a diverse customer base. The law will be easier to understand and better able to protect people from discrimination.

"Implementing the Equality Act to the planned timetable makes clear our commitment to equality. A successful economy needs the full participation of all its citizens and we are committed to implementing the Act in the best way for business."

Along with these legislative measures the GEO will also look at ways of achieving our equality aims without new legislation.

On Monday the GEO will publish, in conjunction with the British Chambers of Commerce, the Equality and Diversity Forum and Citizens Advice, summary guides to support implementation of the Act. This will be followed by a series of ‘Quick Start’ guides to key changes in the law. This simple guidance will set out clearly what the new laws will mean for business, the public sector and the voluntary sector, helping people to prepare and minimising the effects of transition.