New laws on equality

The Equality Bill has been published today. It’s a new key piece of legislation that aims to streamline all existing discrimination legislation into one document. It’s already pretty controversial and it looks like it’s going to be a hot potato for the Government going forward. I’ve already heard a rumour that one peer is already planning to do everything he can to sabotage the whole thing…

Oh, and it’s a monster Bill. Parliament have tried something new with this one by publishing the explanatory notes to the Bill alongside each clause. It’s an interesting idea. Unfortunately it means that the whole thing is well over 500 pages along and separated into two volumes. I got my daily workout just from lifting it up from the printer.

Our interest in this is mainly to make sure that disabled people don’t lose out from all this streamlining. Whilst I can see the logic, will disabiity equality get the same level of attention if it’s going to be considered alongside racial equality, gender equality and so on. How do we make sure it doesn’t become a box ticking exercise?

The Bill also contains a few clauses around accessible examinations for disabled people which we’ll be taking a close look at.

I need to get busy reading it all… Wish me luck.


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