The Equality Bill last week completed the final stage of its passage through Parliament, and will now become law.

The Bill, which was first introduced to the House of Commons almost a year ago, will be sent to the Queen for Royal Assent after MPs approved amendments made by the House of Lords.

Once the Bill receives Royal Assent it will formally become an Act and be introduced to the statute book.

The provisions in the Bill will begin to take effect in the autumn:

– October 2010: Main provisions.

– April 2011: The integrated public sector Equality Duty, the Socio-economic Duty and dual discrimination protection.

– 2012: The ban on age discrimination in provision of goods, facilities, services and public functions.

– 2013: Private and voluntary sector gender pay transparency regulations (if required) and political parties publishing diversity data