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The Equality Bill Summary and key issues Barbara Waters Chief Executive, Skill.

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1 The Equality Bill Summary and key issues Barbara Waters Chief Executive, Skill

2 Timescale and Aims Timescale Published in 27 April Commons committee report 02 December 2009, then House of Lords Committee Royal Assent Spring Government commitment to push this through. Aims Harmonise discrimination law across the different equality strands Strengthen the law to support progress toward equality

3 Key changes Discrimination arising from disability. Discrimination by association Dual discrimination Introduces a Single Equality Duty Changes in reasonable adjustments in General Qualifications

4 Discrimination arising from disability A new provision whereby it is discrimination to treat some one in a detrimental way due to their disability. For discrimination to occur, the employer/ service provider must know, or could be reasonably expected to know, that the person has a disability. It removes the need for ‘the comparator’ i.e. comparing the actions of a disabled person to a non disabled person This is in response to the ‘Lewisham vs Malcolm ruling’

5 Discrimination by association Direct discrimination would be extended to include discrimination by association and perception to disability, sex, gender reassignment and age in both employment and goods and services provision. This for example would mean that carers are likely to be covered This is in response to the Coleman vs Attridge Law case.

6 Duel Discrimination The Equality Bill would protect people who experience direct discrimination because of a combination of two protected characteristics (age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation). Currently people may only bring separate discrimination claims relating to one protected characteristic.

7 Single Public Sector Equality Duty Unified public sector duty, intended to promote equality in public policy and decision-making. Provisions extended to the protected characteristics of sexual orientation, age and religion or belief. Due regard must be given to: (a) eliminate discrimination harassment and victimisation (b) advance equality of opportunity between persons who share protected characteristic and persons who do not share it. (c) foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

8 Single Public Sector Equality Duty: Areas Skill is working on The duty should apply to all public sector organisations as with the Disability Equality Duty. The duty must ‘take account of the needs of disabled persons' disabilities even where this involves more favourable treatment’ The specific duties must be strengthened beyond ‘equality objectives’ to include: –Single equality scheme and action plan. –Involvement of disabled students and staff. –Equality impact assessments.

9 General Qualifications The duty to make reasonable adjustments stays with qualification bodies. The regulator (Ofqual, SQA and DCELLS) can decide what adjustments are NOT reasonable or what part of the qualification is NOT subject to a reasonable adjustment. In deciding this, the regulator must consider: –The needs of the student –The integrity of the qualification –The need to maintain public confidence Skill is concerned over this balance. The needs of the student must be paramount.

10 Guidance Statutory Guidance Employment Services, Goods and Facilities The Public Sector Duty Education. Core Non Statutory The Equality Act 2010: A short guide In addition guidance for: Employers providers of services, goods and facilities Public bodies (includes the duty) Employees People using services, goods and facilities People using public services For more info and Skill Equality Bill Briefings contact:


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