Feeds

ConDems shelve Equality Act timetable

Likely to enact favourite bits

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Government Equality Office (GEO) has withdrawn the timetable that detailed which parts of the recently passed Equality Act would come into force when. Some elements were due to come into force in October.

The GEO had published a timetable online but that has been withdrawn. A GEO spokeswoman said that the withdrawal was due to the recent change in government and that the new government had yet to finalise its own legislative timetable.

“An announcement on scheduling for implementation of the Equality Act will be made in due course," said the spokeswoman, who confirmed that the new government is not bound by the timetable set by its predecessor.

The Equality Act replaced a number of anti-discrimination laws, including the Disability Discrimination Act.

Employment law expert Selwyn Blyth of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, said that the government may end up not implementing many of the Act's provisions.

"I don't think this will surprise many people because the Conservative Party was very clear that if they won the election they would not be bringing in certain aspects of the Equality Act," he said. "I think we all expected the timetable to slip or for them simply to not bring parts of this into force.

"They are unlikely even to repeal the law. They will just implement the parts of the Act they like and not the parts they don't," he said. "Elements of the Act might just sit on the statute book awaiting another change of Government."

Blyth said that three parts of the Act were highlighted by the Conservatives in the run up to the recent election as being elements they would not introduce.

The first is a provision that when hiring, companies could discriminate in favour of people from under-represented groups such as women, ethnic minorities or disabled people, but only if candidates were equally well qualified.

The second area was the requirement that companies report the gap between the amount they pay women and the amount they pay men. "In their manifesto the Conservatives said that they would only introduce this for companies that had already been found guilty of sex discrimination," said Blyth.

The third part of the law that Conservatives said they would not introduce was a provision forcing public authorities to take socio-economic factors into account when allocating their resources.

Blyth said that the more managerial elements of the Act were likely to make it into law.

"In reality they will implement the parts of the Act they like, the stuff that streamlines everything and reduces regulation," he said. "Whole parts of the Act are just a consolidation of all the disparate acts that led to the matrix of discrimination laws we have. These were introduced piecemeal over the last 30 to 35 years and there is quite a lot of inconsistency between, for example, how race and sex discrimination law works."

Editor's Note: Our thanks to Daniel Barnett for bringing this issue to our attention.

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.