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Equality Bill to be brought forward in Parliament

The Queen has officially announced that the Equality Bill will be brought forward in Parliament within the next year.  The Equality Bill will significantly strengthen and streamline discrimination rules unifying nine pieces of major legislation. Notable measures include banning age discrimination, increasing transparency on gender pay gaps, and rooting out inequality.



Despite considerable progress on equality in the last decade the Bill hopes to tackle significant social challenges. Women are paid on average 21 per cent1 less per hour than men; disabled people are one and a half times more likely to be out of work; people from ethnic minority backgrounds are nearly a fifth less likely to find work; and two thirds of over-fifties feel that they have been turned down for a job because they are too old.  It’s hoped the Bill will make it easier for people and businesses to know their rights and their obligations.



Harriet Harman, Minister for Women and Equality, said:



"This Government is unconditionally committed to equality. We're not going to put it on the back burner just because times are difficult: fairness and equality are enduring principles of basic human dignity - and fairness doesn't cost anything.”



Also announced is £90,000 funding to support the development of trade union equality representatives, who work with both employees and employers to can help create a fairer and so more committed workplace, such as by helping to negotiate new flexible working patterns.



Welcoming the announcement on the Equality Bill and Equality rep funding, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said



“While these legislative changes are welcome, employees need a voice for equality to make a real difference. The extra funding for equality reps, who help deliver fairness in the workplace and avoid having to resort to legal action will help employers unleash the skills and talents of their workforce.”



What will be in the Equality Bill? -

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posted by Asif Yusuf

 

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