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Government Considers Scrapping the Equality Act

Just before diversity practitioners thought the coalition had finished tampering with equality laws, many may be surprised to learn the government is asking whether we should scrap equality laws all together. Yes you are reading this right! Decades of equality work may be flushed away if the government do not get an overwhelming response to keep current Equality Laws in place.

The government has launched a drive against overregulation for business in a campaign called the “Red Tape Challenge”. The Coalition government believe that a pile of rules and regulation are causing small to medium enterprises to suffer. If given more responsibility the government believes many businesses would do the right thing and therefore many regulations would be unnecessary. A public consultation inviting members of the public and experts to input has been set up on the cabinet offices website. The government have stressed that it will keep regulation where there “is a very good case for them to stay”.
 
A strange set of affairs, the government originally looked very committed to keeping the Equality Act and within a matter of months it is considering weakening equality duties, weakening the powers of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and scrapping the Equality Act all together. The Equality Act was meant to unify years of equality law borne from hard campaigning, and now its fate lie in the hands of a compelling argument to keep it. Many are left questioning if the current incumbents understand equality at all. Furthermore if the Equality Act 2010 is scrapped, the government will still have to comply with EU equality directives, so they may not be able to scrap it anyway?
 
To contribute to the Red Tape Challenge debate visit the following link,

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