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Equality Bill Completes Passage Through Commons

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Harriet Harman, Minister for Women and Equality, has welcomed the completion of the Equality Bill through the House of Commons.

The Equality Bill sets out groundbreaking new laws which will help narrow the gap between rich and poor; require businesses to report on gender pay; ; and significantly strengthen Britain's anti-discrimination legislation.

The Equality Bill will now progress to the House of Lords with two major amendments:

1. The socio-economic duty, which imposes a requirement on key public bodies such as government departments and local authorities to narrow the gap between rich and poor, will now also apply in .

2. Strengthened protection for , such as restricting the use of pre-employment questionnaires about health or disability during the recruitment process.

Ms Harman said:

"I'm pleased that the Bill has completed its passage in the House of Commons, and I want to congratulate the ministerial team of equality bill ministers, Vera Baird and Michael Foster, who steered it through.  I look forward to it taking its place on the statute book, following further scrutiny by the House of Lords.

"This landmark Bill contains groundbreaking provisions to narrow the gap between rich and poor, and fight discrimination in all its forms - including age discrimination.

"This Bill will make Britain a more equal place, and help us build a stronger economy and fairer society for the future."

An innovative, new 'Easy Read' version of the Equality Bill is being published today to help improve understanding of the concepts involved in the Bill for wider audiences. The document is available online at .

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