... A wider inquiry into the enforcement of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA) has been launched.
The previous reports have highlighted that individuals have difficulties enforcing their rights under the EqA and the Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) has already made recommendations for improvement. The Committee will now be examining the Government's performance on equalities issues and is seeking views on what more can be done to achieve widespread compliance with the Equality Act.
The inquiry will be focusing on the processes by which individual cases can be brought under the Equality Act, including the barriers that may prevent claimants from enforcing their rights. The role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) as the enforcement body, including the effectiveness of its duties, powers and policies and whether there are other models of enforcement that could achieve more widespread compliance with the rights set out in the EqA.
The WEC asks for views in writing by Friday 15 October 2018. Written submissions can be made on line at: Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the EHRC- written submission form.
Alongside its report in to the 'Cost of Modern Slavery', the Home Office has announced an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA). The aim of the review is to ensure legislation keeps in step with this crime.
The MSA has helped to transform the UK’s response to modern slavery on a national and international scale. However, criminal networks are constantly adapting and finding new ways to exploit victims, and the commissioning of this independent review is described as an opportunity to enhance the UK’s legislation to effectively tackle this issue.
Another key focus of the review will be looking at what more can be done to strengthen legislation and minimise the risk that the goods and services available in the UK are produced through forced labour and slavery.
Section 54 of the MSA requires large commercial employers, with an annual turnover of £36m, to produce a modern slavery statement for each financial year, although companies with a lower turnover may also choose to publish a statement. One outcome of this review may be to lower the threshold for publication of a statement.
We will keep you updated with the outcome of the enquiries in due course.