April 14, 2011

IconGovernment consults on scrapping Equality Act

The government is asking if the Equality Act should be “scrapped” as part of its Red Tape Challenge website. The site invites businesses and members of the public to comment upon legal regulations.

The Equality Act has been included in the first batch of regulations to go live on the site, in the “Retail” area. Respondents are asked if equality regulations – which include provisions for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people – should be “scrapped altogether”, “merged with existing regulations”, simplified, improved or “left as they are”.

The website’s launch was announced by Chancellor George Osborne and Business Secretary Vince Cable at the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference last week. Both ministers expressed their hope that businesses would help them choose which regulations to cut.

“This is your chance to make sure that consumers are properly protected from unscrupulous traders or give us the evidence we need to remove the unnecessary bureaucracy that stops your business from growing,” said Cable.

Conservative MP Julian Smith suggested in a recent podcast that special allowances should be made for small businesses: “I don’t think the Equality Act was bad for small business but when you look at it, and government legislation across the piece, from the position of a small firm, it’s very difficult to access it and it takes a lot of time.”

The Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents staff at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, claims that the inclusion of the Equality Act in the Red Tape Challenge is evidence of the government’s lack of commitment to equality.

The Equality Act was introduced in 2010 to replace, simplify and build upon a myriad of previous Acts and regulations. It provides protection from discrimination and promotes equality on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender, gender reassignment, age, disability, race, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership, and pregnancy.

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Ruth Pearce

Video

‘Define Me’ – Ryan Amador (featuring Jo Lampert)

The song DEFINE ME was released exclusively on Ryan Amador’s bandcamp (http://www.ryanamador.bandcamp.com/) in conjunction with Ryan’s live performance at the True Colors LGBT Youth Conference on March 22nd. It was produced by David Baloche for Grove Street Studios. 100% of its proceeds will be donated to organizations actively involved with the LGBT equality campaign. http://www.ryanamador.com/

April 22, 2013