Presentation on theme: "A Framework for Fairness: Proposals for a Single Equality Bill Discrimination Law Review."— Presentation transcript:
A Framework for Fairness: Proposals for a Single Equality Bill Discrimination Law Review
Overview Discrimination Law Review launched in February 2005. Manifesto commitment to introduce a Single Equality Act in this Parliament. Strong calls from the Equalities Review and a wide range of stakeholders, including almost all responses to the Commission for Equality & Human Rights White Paper. Current legislation has developed over time so is complex and confusing. Nine major pieces of discrimination legislation and around 100 other instruments. Need to simplify the law.
Overview (cont’d) Want a coherent legislative framework to underpin the work of the Commission for Equality & Human Rights and as a basis for clear, practical guidance to aid compliance. Want the law to be more effective in tackling discrimination and disadvantage. Need to engage with increasingly diverse society to ensure all groups have equal access to employment, goods, facilities, private and public services. Exclusion has adverse impact on community prosperity and cohesion.
Overview (cont’d) Consultation document has three aims: Harmonising and simplifying the law More effective law Modernising the law
Part 1: Harmonising and simplifying the law Main proposals: Retain requirement for a comparator in direct discrimination claims. Introduce a single definition of discrimination for disability outside employment. Adopt EU definition of indirect discrimination and harmonise objective justification test. Adopt a common threshold for the duty to make reasonable adjustments.
Part 1: Harmonising and simplifying the law (cont’d) Extend the Genuine Occupational Requirement test. Consider the case for a Genuine Service Requirement test. Take a unified approach to exceptions, where possible. Harmonise approach to the way the law treats public functions and goods, facilities and services provisions across all protected grounds, and streamline exceptions. Seek views on retaining requirement for actual comparators for equal pay claims.
Part 2: More effective law Main proposals: Consider extending scope for voluntary balancing measures to allow more rapid progress towards redressing under- representation and disadvantage. Consider the case for a single public sector duty covering all protected groups, focused on achieving equality outcomes. Seek views on a voluntary ‘Equality Standard’ for the private sector. How to improve the way discrimination disputes are resolved.
Part 2: More effective law (cont’d) Public sector equality duties Bring together the current duties on race, disability and gender equality into a single public sector equality duty. How to develop a more effective framework for a single public sector duty – proportionate and outcome focused. Clearer purpose: addressing disadvantage promoting respect for the equal worth of different groups and fostering good relations between groups meeting different needs while promoting shared values promoting equal participation
Part 2: More effective law Public sector equality duties (cont’d) How to support more effective performance of a single public sector equality duty. Four key principles: consultation and involvement use of evidence transparency capability Whether to extend the duty to cover age and/or religion or belief and/or sexual orientation. How guidance on procurement and equality can be improved.
Part 3: Modernising the law Main proposals Not to extend protection to cover carers and parents and people with a genetic predisposition to develop a health condition in the future. Remove the list of “capacities” from the definition of disability. Consider whether legislation could help tackle harmful age discrimination outside the workplace.
Part 3: Modernising the law (cont’d) Strengthen protection for transsexual people and on grounds of pregnancy and maternity. Strengthen and clarify protection from discrimination in private clubs. Consult on a new right, where reasonable, for disability-related adaptations to the common parts of let residential premises. Consider whether explicit statutory protection from harassment outside the workplace is needed on grounds of Religion or belief Sexual orientation Age Disability
Part 3: Modernising the law Age discrimination in the provision of goods and services Age discrimination in the workplace is unlawful but no legal protection in respect of goods and services etc. Considering whether legislation could help tackle harmful age discrimination (particular concerns raised relate to health & social care and insurance). Would need to ensure any legislation did not prevent different treatment which is beneficial or justifiable, or place undue burdens on goods and service providers. Consultation seeks further evidence about prevalence of age discrimination and most effective and proportionate ways of tackling it.
What next? This is a unique opportunity to shape the framework of discrimination law – to achieve an effective Framework for Fairness. Want to actively engage all interested people in debating the issues. Please contribute to the debate and send us your views. Information about consultation events at www.communities.gov.uk www.communities.gov.uk Consultation closes 4 September.