News and Events

Draft Discrimination Regulations Published

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The government has this morning issued a consultation document containing the draft Regulations for the anti-discrimination legislation that must be implemented by next year, under the Equal Treatment Framework Directive.

The draft Regulations cover:
• religion (and similar philosophical beliefs);
• sexual orientation;
• disability; and,
• equal pay
The religion and sexual orientation proposals, which will come into force in December 2003, maintain existing concepts of direct and indirect discrimination but (just to keep us on our toes) make use of slightly different language when defining indirect discrimination. There are particular definitions of (and prohibitions upon) harassment.

The disability Regulations, which are expected to come into force on 1st October 2004, operate by amending the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The amendments, which are extensive, include a clearer definition of discrimination on grounds of disability, introducing a 'defence' to the duty to make reasonable adjustments if the employer does not know (and could not be expected to know) the employee is disabled, abolishing the small business exemption, and extending the DDA to partnerships and barristers.

Responses are sought by 24th January 2003.