Feeds

ToryDems nearly swallow Labour blueprint of equality for all

Employers aghast at discrimination by association

Boost IT visibility and business value

The former Labour government's Equality Act 2010 mainly came into force today, prompting howls of pain from employers' groups.

It's hard to imagine the ToryDems like the whole of the act, but they've decided to lump most of it. Indeed they shelved the original timetable for the act, keeping back key parts they disagree with. Civil servants have put the best possible spin on it, saying it tidies up a raft of disparate legislation, and will "deliver a simple, modern and accessible framework of discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society".

The British Chamber of Commerce probably speaks for large parts of the business community when it raises "concerns about the amount of employment red tape to be implemented between 2010 and 2014" arguing that the government should be rolling back red tape to allow more jobs to be created. It claims the act will impose a one-off cost of £189.2m on business, with further legislation liked to cost firms £11.3bn between now and 2014.

New provisions include "associated" discrimination, so for example, people associated with or perceived to be associated with a protected characteristic, eg carers for a disabled relative, can claim protection under the act.

The "definition of gender reassignment" is changed, by removing the medical provision requirement.

Breastfeeding mothers get protection. Employers can be held responsible for third party harassment, eg of frontline staff by customers, and this is extended to all "protected characteristics".

"Secrecy clauses" are banned, to ensure discriminatory payscales cannot be hidden.

Employment tribunals will be able to make recommendations that affect the whole workforce of an organisation, not just the complainant.

The act also extends "protection in private clubs to sex, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, and gender reassignment," and allows "claims for direct gender pay discrimination where there is no actual comparator".

The government is still "considering" a range of other provisions, including "dual discrimination", diversity reporting by political parties, and positive action in recruitment and promotion.

David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce said: “If private sector businesses are to offset job losses in the public sector, the significant costs of employing people must be reduced. As austerity measures start to bite, companies need the flexibility and freedom to boost employment and drive our economic recovery." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.