Response to announcement by Department of Health not to seek Equality Act 2010 exemptions

03 March 2011

In response to the announcement by Care Services Minister Paul Burstow that the Department of Health will not be seeking any exceptions to the planned implementation of the Equality Act 2010, Sheila Kumar, the Commission’s group director, regulation, said:

'We welcome the decision by the Department of Health not to seek any exceptions to the Equality Act 2010. We have been advising ministers that they must demonstrate this commitment to fairness and equality.

'The recent report by the Health Service Ombudsman showed that cases of appalling negligence towards older people in NHS care are far too common. This is a positive step towards tackling the problem. We would like to see it followed by measures to implement a human-rights based approach across the health service, ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity and respect regardless of their age, background or identity.'

Ends

For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.

For general enquiries please contact the Commission’s national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.

Notes to editors

The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.