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Equality North East

Equality Bill progress

The Equality Bill continues its progress through Parliament, and will shortly reach the end of committee stage, which has involved detailed parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill. The committee has heard evidence from a wide range of organisations including the TUC.

The TUC welcomed the Equality Bill and noted its support for the overall approach taken to consolidating the existing discrimination laws and to levelling up and improving protection in some areas. Concerns were also raised with the drafting of some of the specific provisions. The TUC noted its disappointment that bolder steps have not been taken to ensure equal pay for equal work between men and women.

The TUC has been supporting the development of the role of union equality representatives in the workplace. Unlike other union representatives, including union learning reps and safety reps, equality reps have no right to paid time off to do their duties and to be trained. The TUC will therefore be seeking an amendment to the Bill to put union equality representatives on the same statutory footing as other union representatives. The TUC believe that this would make an important contribution to helping employers get things right in the workplace and avoid costly litigation.

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July 7, 2009

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