The Solicitor - The FindLaw UK Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Equality Act now in force: what's in and what's out? (Part 2)

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[Continued from: ]

Equality Act provisions held back until Spring 2011

  1. The socio-economic duty which requires public bodies to consider the impact strategic decisions have on narrowing socio-economic inequalities;
  2. Dual discrimination (a new right to bring discrimination claims combining protected characteristics, e.g., age and sex);
  3. The requirement on private sector employers to publish gender pay gap information;
  4. Diversity reporting by political parties;
  5. Prohibition on age discrimination in services and public functions;
  6. Allowing civil partnerships on religious premises.

The coalition government says it needs more time to consider how to implement these remaining provisions "in the best way for business and for others with rights and responsibilities under the Act".

Ceri Goddard, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, has criticised the government for its delay -- and, she fears, abandonment -- of the remaining provisions, and says it is a sign that it has failed "a litmus test of their commitment to fairness ...

"Rowing back on the requirement for big business to publish and take action on any differences in pay between men and women employees -- so to conduct gender pay audits -- is tantamount to endorsing the shocking gender pay gap.

"The Act isn't perfect, but the government seems determined to implement it in name only. Failing to implement it in full sends out a clear signal that creating a more equal society is a low priority for the coalition."

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