At work


This cross-cutting theme is now closed for comments.

You can read comments made since the start of the Red Tape Challenge in April 2011 below.

You can also still submit comments to the Red Tape Challenge inbox by clicking here.

The Equality Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against, harass or victimise someone at work.  For example, it is unlawful for an employer to refuse someone a promotion because they are a man, or to sexually harass a female colleague.  The Act also makes it unlawful for an employer to pay men and women differently because of their sex when they are doing the same or an equivalent job or work of equal value.

The Act mainly brings together what was in previous law.  In addition it:

The Act also enables Parliament to make further legislation to require private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees to report on their gender pay gap.  The Government does not intend to implement this measure.  Instead, it is working with business to encourage the publication of equality workforce data on a voluntary basis.

The Act also contains a measure which makes employers liable if an employee is repeatedly harassed by a customer or supplier.  The Government plans to consult later this year on removing this measure.

Tell us what you think should happen to these measures and why, being specific where possible

228 responses to At work

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    Sandra said on July 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Transparent salaries, equal pay for the same job/grade/work. Too much discrimination goes on and is hidden by cowardly management. Equality, fairness and transparency should be a basic human right, regardless of gender.

    Comment Tags: Equality

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    Yinka Oyesanya said on May 28, 2012 at 9:46 am

    The Equality Act in the place of employment must be left alone or strengthened. If watered down or scrapped, it will leave a lot of people (especially Black and Minority Ethnic) vulnerable in the place of work. This can have severe consequences as power will be taken from court houses and legislation right on to the street. August 2011 race riots gives a good idea how society can become if the government goes ahead and scraps The Equality Act. Money is not everthing, but, moral rectitude will take us a long way.

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    George Morley said on April 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    At Work. Yes , while working we give up some of our pay along with our empoyer to pay for a pension in retirement. Sounds good so far. What is never explained to anyone is that they may be prevented from receiving this pension in full that they have paid for the same as evceryone else, because should their children have decided to emigrate to the wrong country then they will be either unable to receive a full uprated pension or they will enjoy the pension that they have paid for depending on the government. How crass. How dishonest . How stupid can politicians be. How unfeeling. How despicable. How can you break a contract and get away with it ?
    Oh , they have no conscience !

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    Kim Cole said on October 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Not being able to ask about a potential employees medical history during the recruitment process makes the recruitment process difficult to manage. Potential employees can hide long periods of sickness absence or health issues that once employed cause issues for the business and also the new employees colleagues. The potential adjustments ie move to an alternative role that doesn’t really exist or manage the person under capability is a timely and costly exercise for the business and can impact morale of all employees. This could be avoided if this part of the legislation is removed. I believe the part of the legislation was brought in to protect individuals who do have a genuine disability but it is so broad it doesn’t do what it was ment to do.

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    Michelle said on October 16, 2011 at 10:05 am

    The Equality Act is an amazing piece of legislation that ensures every one is treated fairly at work, regardless of if you are in a minority group such as disabled.Please do not scrap or undermine any part of this Act.This Act gives every one who wishes to work the opportunity to do so and also protects them from discrimination once in the workplace.We need this to stay the same to encourage more people from minority groups into the workplace and to prove that once they are employed they will not be forgotten but protected by this act.Scrapping this ACT would take us back decades in the fight for Equality.

    Comment Tags: crapping

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    DW said on October 11, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    I THINK THE PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS SECTION IS ESSENTIAL, DONT SCRAP THE ACT – IT CLARIFIES ACTS OF ABUSE AND DISCRIMINATION BY EMPLOYERS IN RECRUITMENT AND EMPLOYMENT.

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    Colin Silverman said on October 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I do not understand why the exemption relating to insured benefits following the abolition of the default retirement age is so restrictive – why does it exclude self-insured arrangements in circumstances where the employer’s business does not include the provision of that type of insurance?

    Comment Tags: Equality Act

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    A Jones said on October 7, 2011 at 8:44 am

    As a disabled person, I completely agree with the need to protect disabled people within the workplace however, I think that the interpretation of who is a disabled person and what adjustments should be made have gone too far. I cannot understand why you assess a disability by not taking into account medication, aids etc when surely the question should be what a disabled person can do. I also cannot understand why some conditions for example cancer are automatically a disability when some cancer is treatable and has no lasting effects.

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    Marlene said on October 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    The legislation has been written to assist people to get a fair deal at work. Tampering with it will not help people to be treated fairly at work- quite the opposite. This country has had a long history of trying to improve relations at work based on mistakes in the past so please do not create more stress for an already overstressed workforce who are all trying to do their best for the country.

    Comment Tags: fair treatment

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    J Rickard said on September 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Leave it as it stands, but with more training/support for companies. Our local solicitors hosted a really useful training session when the Act was introduced – none of the companies present foresaw disadvantages.

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    alan bell said on September 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    We have been advised by our HR company that we must undertake diversity questionnaires, and audit results to show that we have no disability (or race or age) discrimination. Sounds good, but as a small company the person opening the (e)mail is going to be part of the selection process. This means that using such questionnaires sets us up for claims of discrimination, the questions cover age, race, disability, exactly the issues that you should not be asking for. Also as a small company with infrequent recruitment we would never gather sufficient data for any analysis to be meaningful, and there are no published statistical norms. Nowhere does it say that x% of (staff roles) in a geographic travel to work area are (particular race / gender / age). The absence of such data makes such surveys meaningless and intrusive.

    Comment Tags: diversity

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    Jon Kell said on September 13, 2011 at 8:03 am

    My wife works for a large company and where she works has a large majority of male employees. This company used to have in its contract of employment that it was a disciplinary offence to discuss your salary with another employee. My wife knew she was paid less than other male colleagues doing the same job but could not prove it due to this clause in her contract. The equality act made this clause illegal and she could use the act to request salary details from comparable colleagues. Just the threat of this made the company offer a large salary increase. Without the equality act this would not have happened and I think to loose it will be detrimental to the challenge of equal pay between men and women. No government should be supporting loosing an act that can help so many people.

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    H McHugh said on September 2, 2011 at 2:38 am

    The Equality Act 2010 has done a great deal to simplify earlier equality legislation already. It has already ‘reformed, simplified and merged’ a great body of earlier work on equality law in terms of primary legislation, SIs and accompanying guidance. The impressive body of work behind the EHRC, for example, shows that unfortunately the stick, rather than the carrot, is still very definitely needed to ensure fair treatment and fair access for all to goods, services, employment opportunities etc. Voluntary self-regulation would not be viable in the arena of equality and the more help, guidance and training available in support of the legislation, the better.

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    Leslie Walker said on August 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Should be left as they are.

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    Leslie Walker said on August 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Leave things as they are. May be cases for strenghtening protection of employees now government is restricting legal aid to so many poorer people.

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