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The Equality Act

Under the so called "Equality Act" which was Harriet Harman's legacy and has just come into effect all sorts of "groups" such as vegans, teetotallers, athiests etc. are to be given the same protection as religious groups, AND, gypsies and travellers are granted "special status" because they are "socio-economically disadvantaged".

Worst of all however, it introduces the concept of "third party harassment" meaning employers are legally responsible for protecting staff from such things as abuse by customers. 

As this new law stands employers could be sued if a staff member makes a joke which another staff member (who bizzarely doesnt even have to overhear the joke) feels "offended by it.

In addition there are proposals not yet implimented to enforce "positive discrimination", to force local authorities to spend extra money in allegedly "deprived" areas, and possibly to force companies to move to "deprived" areas and to possitively discriminate in favour of job applicant from such areas or from "minority" groups.

In full the provisions which came into force on 1st October 23010 are -

  • The basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in services and public functions; premises; work; education; associations, and transport.
  • Changing the definition of gender reassignment, by removing the requirement for medical supervision.
  • Levelling up protection for people discriminated against because they are perceived to have, or are associated with someone who has, a protected characteristic, so providing new protection for people like carers.
  • Clearer protection for breastfeeding mothers;
  • Applying the European definition of indirect discrimination to all protected characteristics.
  • Extending protection from indirect discrimination to disability.
  • Introducing a new concept of “discrimination arising from disability”, to replace protection under previous legislation lost as a result of a legal judgment.
  • Applying the detriment model to victimisation protection (aligning with the approach in employment law).
  • Harmonising the thresholds for the duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.
  • Extending protection from 3rd party harassment to all protected characteristics.
  • Making it more difficult for disabled people to be unfairly screened out when applying for jobs, by restricting the circumstances in which employers can ask job applicants questions about disability or health.
  • Allowing claims for direct gender pay discrimination where there is no actual comparator.
  • Making pay secrecy clauses unenforceable.
  • Extending protection in private clubs to sex, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, and gender reassignment.
  • Introducing new powers for employment tribunals to make recommendations which benefit the wider workforce.
  • Harmonising provisions allowing voluntary positive action

Personally if any of my staff make a complaint against another member of staff because of a bit of office banter then they had better file a claim for unfair dismisal too because I would instantly dismiss them  I expect staff to be reasonable adults - not politically correct muppets. 

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By ACDWebb
02nd Oct 2010 17:34

That's OK then we've got a bit of time yet

In full the provisions which came into force on 1st October 23010

Heard them discussing it on the Today programme yesterday morning. Unfortunately the person trying to explain it so far as the third party bits was not making a very good job of it.

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02nd Oct 2010 18:00

1984

 

Heard them discussing it on the Today programme yesterday morning. Unfortunately the person trying to explain it so far as the third party bits was not making a very good job of it.tooltip(); 

Posted by ACDWebb on Sat, 02/10/2010 - 17:34

 

The third party bit essentially means that anyone can sue anyone else for almost anything.

For example, if I told you a joke about, say, Irishmen and no one else was in the room or heard it, but, somehow later discovered that I had told that joke, under this Act they could claim to be "offended" by it and sue.  Extreme? yes, but under this Act - possible.

If one of your employees claims to be "offended" by something said to them by a customer, they can sue - and it's YOU as the employer who can be sued despite the fact the offending comment was made by a customer and you were not even there at the time.

Rather interestingly, under the wording of this Act, it would appear that if HMRC write a letter to your client and you consider it to be "offensiuve" or "distressing" then you could sue HMRC under this Act.

Personally I think the entire nation should sue Harman for dreaming up such an offensive piece of legislation, and I hope it's right at the top of the Torie's list of Acts to be scrapped. 

 

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02nd Oct 2010 19:28

By the way

The Commencement Order which brought into force on 1 October 2010 most of the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 is signed by Theresa May, not Harriet Harman.

David

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02nd Oct 2010 20:00

Rubber stamp

The Commencement Order which brought into force on 1 October 2010 most of the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 is signed by Theresa May, not Harriet Harman.

tooltip();Posted by davidwinch on Sat, 02/10/2010 - 19:28

 

The legislation itself was Harman's pet project - it was passed by the last government - so Theresa May's signature was merely a "rubber stamp".  I've no more time for Theresa May than I have for Harman - both a pair of politically correct numpties. 

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04th Oct 2010 08:50

As a Teetotaller...

... I now have the same rights as a religious group?  Neat!

I might sue Wards for the fact I had to smell hops when I walked past their brewery every morning when I was younger.

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Easy solution

Don't employ anyone. We all end up poorer but as long as noone is offended that's OK.

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By GeeBee
04th Oct 2010 17:32

Well done Hattie - lots more jobs will be exported

All the more reason to outsource to India and not employ in the UK.

 

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04th Oct 2010 22:13

Slow down

All the more reason to outsource to India and not employ in the UK.tooltip();

 

Posted by GeeBee on Mon, 04/10/2010 - 17:32

 

Under this Act if I apply to you for a job - and you outsource the work to India instead - and I happen to belong to a "minority" then I can sue you.  Still want to outsource ?

 

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By GeeBee
05th Oct 2010 07:49

To C_D

Wrong.

How can you possibly sue me for not employing you, when I am not recruiting anybody?

Or to put it another way - I hereby apply for the position as your partner.

What, you don't want me??

Must be because I'm English and you aren't.

See you in front of the Tribunal, where if your logic is correct, I will win. 

 

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05th Oct 2010 11:53

Wrong? Really ?

The Act states that it -

Introduces new powers for employment tribunals to make recommendations which benefit the wider workforce.

Therefore in theory a tribunal DOES have the right to rule whether outsourcing work is compatible with the benefit of the wider workforce.  Bearing in mind that this is UK law the ONLY workforce which the tribunal can legally consider is the British workforce.  Therefore, if you have employees and deecxide to outsource work therefore either reducing your existing workforce, or, therefore not expanding your existing workforce, the tribunal does indeed have the power under this Act to consider whether that decision is to the "benefit of the workforce".

I am not saying that it makes sense (very little of what Labour did made sense), but, the law is drafted in such a way that such a challenge could be made to a decision to outsource, and, under the way this Act is drafted anyone, any third party, can ask the tribunal to consider the issue. 

 

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06th Oct 2010 11:46

Worse than that

Between Harry Harmwomen & Terry Might too, they've more or less themselves provided the perfect examples in support of misogynists everywhere and set back the cause of equality back to pre-Pankhurst days.

That's where positive discrimination gets you, I'm afraid; lunatics in charge of the asylum just long enough to be dangerous.

 

 

 

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