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Federal Government Girls College Owerri • View topic - EQUALITY

EQUALITY

Discuss daily and general issues

EQUALITY

Postby chizor » Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:54 am

Very interesting read.

Publication date: 27 June 2008
Source: PM Online

Minister for Women and Equality has outlined what will be contained in the new single equality bill

Harriet Harman, minister for Women and Equality, has finally outlined the main contents of the government’s proposed single equality bill, due to be introduced in Parliament during the 2008 to 2009 session.



In addition to pulling existing discrimination legislation into a single act, the bill will also:

• require greater transparency from employers on pay
• extend the scope for employers to take positive action to support under-represented groups
• strengthen tribunal enforcement procedures.


The key proposals include new employment discrimination provisions, extending age discrimination legislation to cover goods and services, and broadening the existing public sector equality duty to cover all discrimination strands.


The most important proposals from an employer's perspective are highlighted below.


Transparency
There is a requirement for more detailed reporting on discrimination issues. Public sector employers will have to publish details of gender-related pay gaps, and employment statistics for disabled and ethnic minority staff.

Initially the duty will not apply to private sector employers, but it seems likely the government will introduce legislation to force the private sector to improve transparency if it does not do so voluntarily. An equality "kite mark" will be introduced for employers who are transparent about reporting their progress.


Transparent reporting will also become more important for private-sector employers tendering for government contracts, although there is little detail in the ministerial statement about what this means in practice.


[b]Pay gap

It will be unlawful for employers to include "gagging clauses" in employment contracts to prevent employees discussing their pay.[/b]
The Equality and Human Rights Commission will conduct an inquiry into inequality in the financial and professional services sector, focusing particularly on the gender pay gap. The government is also going to work with the CBI and unions to assess the effectiveness of equal pay audits.


Positive action
Employers will be able to adopt more positive action measures to assist under-represented groups, for example, by selecting an equally well qualified woman or ethnic minority candidate in preference to someone else.
Tribunals will have greater powers to make recommendations in discrimination claims, to benefit not just the claimant but other members of the workforce. It is suggested that a failure to follow tribunal recommendations could lead to tougher rulings in subsequent claims.


Consultation

More details on the contents of the Bill will be published shortly and there will be further consultation on allowing ‘class actions’, claims of discrimination on multiple grounds, and strengthening the role of trade union equality representatives.
"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."

-Proverbs 16:3
chizor
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