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Equality Bill [HL]


Equality Bill [HL]
Part 1 — The Commission for Equality and Human Rights

6

 

12      

Monitoring the law

(1)   

The Commission shall monitor the effectiveness of the equality and human

rights enactments.

(2)   

The Commission may—

(a)   

advise central government about the effectiveness of any of the equality

5

and human rights enactments;

(b)   

recommend to central government the amendment, repeal,

consolidation (with or without amendments) or replication (with or

without amendments) of any of the equality and human rights

enactments;

10

(c)   

advise central or devolved government about the effect of an enactment

(including an enactment in or under an Act of the Scottish Parliament);

(d)   

advise central or devolved government about the likely effect of a

proposed change of law.

(3)   

The Commission shall comply with a direction of the Secretary of State to

15

advise about—

(a)   

the effect of an enactment (including an enactment in or under an Act

of the Scottish Parliament);

(b)   

the likely effect of a proposed change of law.

(4)   

In this section—

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(a)   

“central government” means Her Majesty’s Government,

(b)   

“devolved government” means—

(i)   

the Scottish Ministers, and

(ii)   

the National Assembly for Wales, and

(c)   

a reference to the equality enactments shall be treated as including a

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reference to any provision of this Act.

13      

Monitoring progress

(1)   

The Commission shall from time to time identify—

(a)   

changes in society that have occurred or are expected to occur and are

relevant to the aim specified in section 3,

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(b)   

results at which to aim for the purpose of creating the society described

in section 3 (“outcomes”), and

(c)   

factors by reference to which progress towards those results may be

measured (“indicators”).

(2)   

In identifying outcomes and indicators the Commission shall—

35

(a)   

consult such persons having knowledge or experience relevant to the

Commission’s functions as the Commission thinks appropriate,

(b)   

consult such other persons as the Commission thinks appropriate,

(c)   

issue a general invitation to make representations, in a manner likely in

the Commission’s opinion to bring the invitation to the attention of as

40

large a class of persons who may to wish to make representations as is

reasonably practicable, and

(d)   

take account of any representations made.

(3)   

The Commission shall from time to time monitor progress towards each

identified outcome by reference to any relevant identified indicator.

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Equality Bill [HL]
Part 1 — The Commission for Equality and Human Rights

7

 

(4)   

The Commission shall publish a report on progress towards the identified

outcomes by reference to the identified indicators—

(a)   

within the period of three years beginning with the date on which this

section comes into force, and

(b)   

within each period of three years beginning with the date on which a

5

report is published under this subsection.

(5)   

The Commission shall send each report to the Secretary of State, who shall lay

a copy before Parliament.

General powers

14      

Information, advice, &c.

10

(1)   

In pursuance of its duties under sections 8 to 11 the Commission may—

(a)   

publish or otherwise disseminate ideas or information;

(b)   

undertake research;

(c)   

provide education or training;

(d)   

give advice or guidance (whether about the effect or operation of an

15

enactment or otherwise);

(e)   

arrange for a person to do anything within paragraphs (a) to (d);

(f)   

act jointly with, co-operate with or assist a person doing anything

within paragraphs (a) to (d).

(2)   

The reference to giving advice in subsection (1)(d) does not include a reference

20

to preparing, or assisting in the preparation of, a document to be used for the

purpose of legal proceedings.

15      

Codes of practice

(1)   

The Commission may issue a code of practice in connection with a matter

addressed by any of the following—

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(a)   

the Equal Pay Act 1970 (c. 41),

(b)   

Parts 2 to 4 and section 76A of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (c. 65) or

an order under section 76B or 76C of that Act,

(c)   

Parts 2 to 4 and section 71 of the Race Relations Act 1976 (c. 74),

(d)   

Parts 2 to 4 and 5A of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (c. 50)

30

except for sections 28D and 28E (accessibility in schools),

(e)   

Part 2 of this Act,

(f)   

Parts 2 and 3 of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation)

Regulations 2003, and

(g)   

Parts 2 and 3 of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief)

35

Regulations 2003.

(2)   

A code of practice under subsection (1) shall contain provision designed—

(a)   

to ensure or facilitate compliance with a provision or enactment listed

in subsection (1), or

(b)   

to promote equality of opportunity.

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(3)   

The Commission may issue a code of practice giving practical guidance to

landlords and tenants about—

(a)   

circumstances in which a tenant requires the consent of his landlord to

make a relevant improvement, within the meaning of section 49G(7) of

 
 

Equality Bill [HL]
Part 1 — The Commission for Equality and Human Rights

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the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (improvements), to a dwelling

house,

(b)   

circumstances in which it is unreasonable to withhold that consent, and

(c)   

the application in relation to relevant improvements (within that

meaning) to dwelling houses of—

5

(i)   

section 19(2) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 (c. 36)

(consent to improvements),

(ii)   

sections 81 to 85 of the Housing Act 1980 (c. 51) (tenant’s

improvements),

(iii)   

sections 97 to 99 of the Housing Act 1985 (c. 68) (tenant’s

10

improvements), and

(iv)   

section 49G of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (c. 50).

(4)   

The Commission shall comply with a direction of the Secretary of State to issue

a code under this section in connection with a specified matter.

(5)   

Before issuing a code under this section the Commission shall—

15

(a)   

publish proposals, and

(b)   

consult such persons as it thinks appropriate.

(6)   

Before issuing a code under this section the Commission shall submit a draft to

the Secretary of State, who shall—

(a)   

if he approves the draft—

20

(i)   

notify the Commission, and

(ii)   

lay a copy before Parliament, or

(b)   

otherwise, give the Commission written reasons why he does not

approve the draft.

(7)   

Where a draft is laid before Parliament under subsection (6)(a)(ii), if neither

25

House passes a resolution disapproving the draft within 40 days—

(a)   

the Commission may issue the code in the form of the draft, and

(b)   

it shall come into force in accordance with provision made by the

Secretary of State by order.

(8)   

If, or in so far as, a code relates to a duty imposed by or under section 76A, 76B

30

or 76C of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (c. 65), section 71 of the Race

Relations Act 1976 (c. 74) or section 49A or 49D of the Disability Discrimination

Act 1995 (public authorities: general anti-discrimination duties) the Secretary

of State shall consult the Scottish Ministers and the National Assembly for

Wales before—

35

(a)   

approving a draft under subsection (6)(a) above, or

(b)   

making an order under subsection (7)(b) above.

16      

Codes of practice: supplemental

(1)   

The Commission may revise a code issued under section 15; and a reference in

this section or in that section to the issue of a code shall be treated as including

40

a reference to the revision of a code.

(2)   

The 40 day period specified in section 15(7)—

(a)   

shall begin with the date on which the draft is laid before both Houses

(or, if laid before each House on a different date, with the later date),

and

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(b)   

shall be taken not to include a period during which—

 
 

Equality Bill [HL]
Part 1 — The Commission for Equality and Human Rights

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(i)   

Parliament is prorogued or dissolved, or

(ii)   

both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.

(3)   

A code issued under section 15 may be revoked by the Secretary of State, at the

request of the Commission, by order.

(4)   

A failure to comply with a provision of a code shall not of itself make a person

5

liable to criminal or civil proceedings; but a code—

(a)   

shall be admissible in evidence in criminal or civil proceedings, and

(b)   

shall be taken into account by a court or tribunal in any case in which it

appears to the court or tribunal to be relevant.

(5)   

The Secretary of State may by order amend section 15 so as to vary the range

10

of matters that codes of practice under that section may address.

17      

Inquiries

(1)   

The Commission—

(a)   

shall comply with a direction of the Secretary of State to conduct an

inquiry into a specified matter relating to any of the Commission’s

15

duties under sections 8, 9, 10 and 11, and

(b)   

may conduct an inquiry into any other matter relating to any of those

duties.

(2)   

If in the course of an inquiry the Commission begins to suspect that a person

may have committed an unlawful act—

20

(a)   

in continuing the inquiry the Commission shall, so far as possible,

avoid further consideration of whether or not the person has

committed an unlawful act,

(b)   

the Commission may commence an investigation into that question

under section 22,

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(c)   

the Commission may use information or evidence acquired in the

course of the inquiry for the purpose of the investigation, and

(d)   

the Commission shall so far as possible ensure (whether by aborting or

suspending the inquiry or otherwise) that any aspects of the inquiry

which concern the person investigated, or may require his

30

involvement, are not pursued while the investigation is in progress.

(3)   

The report of an inquiry—

(a)   

may not state (whether expressly or by necessary implication) that a

specified or identifiable person has committed an unlawful act, and

(b)   

shall not otherwise refer to the activities of a specified or identifiable

35

person unless the Commission thinks that the reference—

(i)   

will not harm the person, or

(ii)   

is necessary in order for the report adequately to reflect the

results of the inquiry.

(4)   

Subsections (2) and (3) shall not prevent an inquiry from considering or

40

reporting a matter relating to human rights (whether or not a necessary

implication arises in relation to the equality enactments).

(5)   

Before settling a report of an inquiry which records findings which in the

Commission’s opinion are of an adverse nature and relate (whether expressly

or by necessary implication) to a specified or identifiable person the

45

Commission shall—

 
 

Equality Bill [HL]
Part 1 — The Commission for Equality and Human Rights

10

 

(a)   

send a draft of the report to the person,

(b)   

specify a period of at least 28 days during which he may make written

representations about the draft, and

(c)   

consider any representations made.

(6)   

Schedule 2 makes supplemental provision about inquiries.

5

18      

Grants

(1)   

In pursuance of any of its duties under sections 8 to 11 the Commission may

make grants to another person.

(2)   

A grant under subsection (1) may be made subject to conditions (which may,

in particular, include conditions as to repayment).

10

(3)   

A power under this Part to co-operate with or assist a person may not be

exercised by the provision of financial assistance otherwise than in accordance

with this section.

19      

Human rights

In pursuance of its duties under section 9 the Commission may (without

15

prejudice to the generality of section 14) co-operate with persons interested in

human rights within the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

20      

Disability

(1)   

In pursuance of its duties under section 10 the Commission may do anything

specified in this section (without prejudice to the generality of section 14).

20

(2)   

The Commission may make, co-operate with or assist in arrangements—

(a)   

for the monitoring of kinds of crime affecting disabled persons;

(b)   

designed to prevent or reduce crime affecting disabled persons;

(c)   

for activities (whether social, recreational, sporting, civic, educational

or otherwise) designed to involve disabled persons.

25

21      

Communities

(1)   

In pursuance of its duties under section 11 the Commission may do anything

specified in this section (without prejudice to the generality of section 14).

(2)   

The Commission may make, co-operate with or assist in arrangements—

(a)   

for the monitoring of kinds of crime affecting certain communities;

30

(b)   

designed to prevent or reduce crime within or affecting certain

communities;

(c)   

for activities (whether social, recreational, sporting, civic, educational

or otherwise) designed to involve members of communities.

Enforcement powers

35

22      

Investigations

(1)   

The Commission may investigate whether or not a person—

(a)   

has committed an unlawful act,

 
 

Equality Bill [HL]
Part 1 — The Commission for Equality and Human Rights

11

 

(b)   

has complied with a requirement imposed by an unlawful act notice

under section 23, or

(c)   

has complied with an undertaking given under section 25.

(2)   

The Commission shall investigate a matter specified in subsection (1) if

directed to do so by the Secretary of State.

5

(3)   

The Commission may conduct an investigation under subsection (1)(a) only if

it suspects that the person concerned may have committed an unlawful act (but

this subsection is subject to subsection (2)).

(4)   

The Secretary of State may direct the Commission to investigate a matter only

if he suspects that the person concerned may have committed an unlawful act.

10

(5)   

A suspicion for the purposes of subsection (3) or (4) may (but need not) be

based on the results of, or a matter arising during the course of, an inquiry

under section 17.

(6)   

Before settling a report of an investigation recording a finding that a person has

committed an unlawful act or has failed to comply with a requirement or

15

undertaking the Commission shall—

(a)   

send a draft of the report to the person,

(b)   

specify a period of at least 28 days during which he may make written

representations about the draft, and

(c)   

consider any representations made.

20

(7)   

Schedule 2 makes supplemental provision about investigations.

23      

Unlawful act notice

(1)   

The Commission may give a person a notice under this section (an “unlawful

act notice”) if—

(a)   

he is or has been the subject of an investigation under section 22(1)(a),

25

and

(b)   

the Commission is satisfied that he has committed an unlawful act.

(2)   

A notice must specify—

(a)   

the unlawful act, and

(b)   

the provision of the equality enactments by virtue of which the act is

30

unlawful.

(3)   

A notice must inform the recipient of the effect of—

(a)   

subsections (5) to (7),

(b)   

section 22(1)(b), and

(c)   

section 26(1)(a).

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(4)   

A notice may—

(a)   

require the person to whom the notice is given to prepare an action plan

for the purpose of avoiding repetition or continuation of the unlawful

act;

(b)   

recommend action to be taken by the person for that purpose.

40

(5)   

A person who is given a notice may, within the period of six weeks beginning

with the day on which the notice is given, appeal to the appropriate court or

tribunal on the grounds—

(a)   

that he has not committed the unlawful act specified in the notice, or

 
 

Equality Bill [HL]
Part 1 — The Commission for Equality and Human Rights

12

 

(b)   

that a requirement for the preparation of an action plan imposed under

subsection (4)(a) is unreasonable.

(6)   

On an appeal under subsection (5) the court or tribunal may—

(a)   

affirm a notice;

(b)   

annul a notice;

5

(c)   

vary a notice;

(d)   

affirm a requirement;

(e)   

annul a requirement;

(f)   

vary a requirement;

(g)   

make an order for costs or expenses.

10

(7)   

In subsection (5) “the appropriate court or tribunal” means—

(a)   

an employment tribunal, if a claim in respect of the alleged unlawful act

could be made to it, or

(b)   

a county court (in England and Wales) or the sheriff (in Scotland), if a

claim in respect of the alleged unlawful act could be made to it or to

15

him.

24      

Action plans

(1)   

This section applies where a person has been given a notice under section 23

which requires him (under section 23(4)(a)) to prepare an action plan.

(2)   

The notice must specify a time by which the person must give the Commission

20

a first draft plan.

(3)   

After receiving a first draft plan from a person the Commission shall—

(a)   

approve it, or

(b)   

give the person a notice which—

(i)   

states that the draft is not adequate,

25

(ii)   

requires the person to give the Commission a revised draft by a

specified time, and

(iii)   

may make recommendations about the content of the revised

draft.

(4)   

Subsection (3) shall apply in relation to a revised draft plan as it applies in

30

relation to a first draft plan.

(5)   

An action plan comes into force—

(a)   

if the period of six weeks beginning with the date on which a first draft

or revised draft is given to the Commission expires without the

Commission—

35

(i)   

giving a notice under subsection (3)(b), or

(ii)   

applying for an order under subsection (6)(b), or

(b)   

upon a court’s declining to make an order under subsection (6)(b) in

relation to a revised draft of the plan.

(6)   

The Commission may apply to a county court (in England and Wales) or to the

40

sheriff (in Scotland)—

(a)   

for an order requiring a person to give the Commission a first draft plan

by a time specified in the order,

 
 

 
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