Creating a fairer Britain
Please note the information on this page is for reference purpose only, the Code of Practice consultation is now closed.
Thank you for participating in the first phase of our consultation on the draft Codes of Practice for the Equality Bill. This phase cover three aspects of the Equality Bill - employment, equal pay and services, public functions and associations.
The new Equality Bill is the most significant piece of equality legislation for many years. It will simplify, streamline and strengthen the law. It will give individuals greater protection from unfair discrimination and will make it easier for employers and companies to understand their responsibilities. It will also set a new standard for those who provide public services to treat everyone, with dignity and respect.
In line with our statutory powers, we are producing draft codes for the Equality Bill as the Bill continues its passage through Parliament. This is to ensure that the final codes are available to support the Act once it becomes law and to give you as much time as possible to respond and influence the final versions of the codes. This consultation is not an opportunity to influence the final version of the bill as this is the responsibility of Parliament.
The purpose of the Codes of Practice is to explain the new statutory provisions so as to ensure that the law is applied consistently by lower courts and tribunals. This will also help make the law accessible to a wider audience, such as those who have obligations and those who have rights (or their representatives). As we draft these documents we are acutely aware that they should reflect the needs, expectations and language of the people who are going to use it. This public consultation is not only a statutory requirement but it is also an essential part of the drafting process. However, as the Bill is still progressing through parliament these draft codes are by their very nature incomplete in places and will be subject to revisions as the Bill itself is amended, and indeed in response to your submissions. Final versions will also include full cross-referencing to other chapters and sections of the codes.
There are three separate consultations on the draft guides:
You can choose to comment on any or all of the three draft guides; you can also choose to comment on the sections of the guidance most relevant to you or your organisation. We look forward to receiving responses to a number of specific questions set out in the consultations, and any additional comments you wish to contribute.
Clear and authoritative guidance will be vital to enable new equality law to fulfil its promise; this is your chance to help us get it right.
Below are the draft Codes of Practice and their respective questionnaires that we would like you to complete. If you require access to the consultation in an alternative format, please call our Helpline on 0845 604 6610 who will assist in meeting your needs.
Please use the questionnaires to identify any sections where you think we have not accurately explained the new obligations and rights under the law. Once the consultation period has concluded we will use the completed questionnaires to inform the final drafting of the codes before they are laid before Parliament.
The consultation has now closed.
If you have any enquiries regarding the Code of Practice consultation please email COPConsult@equalityhumanrights.com
Please note, the drafts we are consulting on are based on the version of the Bill brought from the Commons on 3 December 2009. Any amendments made since that date will not be reflected in the draft guidance. Final versions of the guidance will of course be based on the version of the bill that receives Royal Assent and becomes an Act of Parliament, including any amendments agreed by Parliament since December. Later versions of the bill can be found on the Parliament website.