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Equality North East

Queen's Speech: £200 billion Government contracts linked to Equality Bi

An equality law included in the Queen’s Speech could mean that when two companies make similar bids for a state contract, the final decision would rest on which one employs the most women or members of minority groups.

The Equality Bill, drawn up by Harriet Harman, the Labour deputy leader, will be carried over from the last parliamentary session and debated in the coming weeks. It contains a wide range of measures meant to deliver greater equality between people of different gender, race, religion and social class.

If passed, the bill could put public sector bodies under a new obligation to consider the gender balance among employees of companies bidding for Government contracts.

A Government briefing note on the Bill said that one of its central elements is “using £200 billion worth of public procurement to drive equality in the private sector.”

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November 19, 2009

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