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The Equality and Human Rights Commission to Concentrate on Enforcement

on Friday, 30 November 2018.

On the 19 November 2018, the Tailored review of the Equality and Human Rights Commission was published. Tailored reviews are conducted to assess whether there is a continued need for non-departmental public bodies.

The Findings

The review found that in the last decade the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has had a variety of successes, enjoys a strong international reputation and is passionate about reducing inequality. However, the review also found that it is not seen as a robust regulator or enforcer of the law.

Key Recommendations

Amongst the key recommendations is that the EHRC should focus on using its unique powers as a regulator and enforcer of equality law. This refers to the EHRC's specific duties to ensure that equality laws are enforced and to work towards the elimination of discrimination and harassment. In pursuit of this the EHRC has powers to require employers, service providers, educational institutions, public bodies and housing providers to cease any discriminatory practices and make changes to prevent future discrimination. Formal enforcement may include (amongst other actions) conducting an inquiry or issuing compliance notices. The review sees this as the EHRC's most important function.

What Next?

If the recommendations are implemented we could see the EHRC taking a more proactive approach to utilising its powers as a regulator. This may mean more enforcement action against employers.

A response is expected from the EHRC before April 2019 so we will keep you updated of any further developments as and when they become available.

For further information on employment issues, please contact Katie Hurst in our Employment Law team on 0121 227 3751.