Westminster Hall Debates

Future of the Human Rights Act 1998 - 30 June 2015

We welcome this debate on the important matter of the legal framework for human rights in the United Kingdom.  The Commission has always said that any changes to the legal framework must not reduce essential human rights protections, nor weaken the redress mechanisms for breaches of human rights.  We look forward to contributing to the development of ideas, but would not support a reversal of the leading global role Britain has long played in protecting and promoting human rights. We also welcome the opportunity to address a number of public concerns and misunderstandings about the way human rights law operates at present.

Download: Westminster Hall Debate: Future of the Human Rights Act 1998

Proposals for a new Equal Pay Act - 18 March 2015

The Commission recognises that the current equal pay provisions have shortcomings which can be a barrier to achieving equal pay in practice and welcomes the opportunity to contribute to this debate you have secured on the effectiveness of the current provisions in the Equality Act 2010. Please find attached the briefing we have prepared for tomorrow's debate.

We consider that, 45 years after the passing of the Equal Pay Act 1970, and five years after the Equality Act 2010 came into force, it is appropriate to review whether the equal pay provisions and the mechanisms for enforcing equal pay are working effectively. Any changes to the current provisions would need to be consistent with European law and principles relating to equal pay between women and men.

Download: Westminster Hall Debate: Proposals for a new Equal Pay Act

Download Westminster Hall Debate: Proposals for a new Equal Pay Act

The Commission welcomes this debate on the important issue of maternity discrimination. We are aware that, despite recent changes giving pregnant women and working parents greater rights at work, concern remains that pregnancy and maternity discrimination is still prevalent in the workplace and more needs to be done to tackle it.

To address this, the Commission set up a research project, in partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), to investigate the prevalence of pregnancy and maternity related discrimination and the attitudes and practice of employers.

The project started in March 2014 covering research and the production of guidance, toolkits and personal stories from employers and employees. Our interim research findings were launched in July 2015 along with materials designed to help employers and women understand their rights and responsibilities during pregnancy, maternity and return to work.

The final and full research findings will be launched, with BIS, towards the end of this year. At the same time, we will also be launching recommendations to address the research findings.

Download: Westminster Hall Debate: Maternity Discrimination

Last updated: 05 May 2016