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December 2006

Pressure increases on employers to comply with equality legislation

2007 will see significant developments with regard to the rules governing equality and discrimination in the workplace. The Equality Act 2006 and The Work and Families Act 2006 will come into force in the UK, the government will publish a new green paper on discrimination legislation and the European Union will promote 'Equal Opportunities for All' as it's theme for the year.   The one day seminar, The Essential Guide to Equality Legislation, delivers everything you need to know on this important topic for only £159 per person.

You can not ignore equality legislation, fighting a discrimination case at an employment tribunal is a no-win situation. It uses up valuable resources and is both time consuming and costly for the employer and the employee. Even if the tribunal finds in the employer's favour, negative publicity can seriously damage the organisation's reputation among existing and prospective employees as well as customers. You need to beware - if a tribunal finds that one employee has discriminated against another then the employer will be liable to extremely costly compensation payments. It is therefore essential that all employers understand their responsibilities with regard to equality in the workplace.

The Equality Act 2006 aims to ensure that all people have equality of opportunity, irrespective of their gender, racial and ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. It has established the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) which will have new powers to enforce legislation and promote equality for all. This new Commission will bring together the work of the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission.

To comply with the Equality Act 2006 your organisation should:

  • draw up an equal opportunities policy
  • develop non-discriminatory working practices
  • provide training and support for staff that promotes a positive attitude to equality
  • develop recruitment, selection, promotion and training policies that do not discriminate, directly or indirectly.

The Work and Families Act 2006 will increase the maternity and paternity rights for working parents as well as extending the right to request flexible working to carers.

The government also intends to harmonise much of the existing anti-discrimination legislation under a new Single Equality Bill. The Discrimination Law Review has been working on the proposals and a green paper will be published soon.

The European Commission has designated 2007 as 'European Year of Equal Opportunities for All' as part of a concerted effort to promote equality and non-discrimination in the EU. The European Year is designed to ensure that discrimination is effectively tackled, diversity is celebrated and equal opportunities for all are promoted. The EU has been the principal driver behind much of the anti-discrimination legislation introduced in recent times and the influence of the various EU institutions should not be underestimated.

UK Training has carefully monitored all of the laws and regulations that have been introduced over the years and have developed a one-day seminar, The Essential Guide to Equality Legislation. The seminar will give you all the information that you need to avoid having a claim of discrimination brought against your organisation.

We expect there to be a high demand for places on this new seminar and urge you to book you places now by visiting The Essential Guide to Equality Legislation page on our website.

Further information on The European Year of Equality for All can be found by clicking here.


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