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Equality Bill


Equality Bill
Part 1 — Socio-economic inequalities

1

 

A

Bill

[AS AMENDED ON REPORT]

To

Make provision to require Ministers of the Crown and others when making

strategic decisions about the exercise of their functions to have regard to the

desirability of reducing socio-economic inequalities; to reform and harmonise

equality law and restate the greater part of the enactments relating to

discrimination and harassment related to certain personal characteristics; to

enable certain employers to be required to publish information about the

differences in pay between male and female employees; to prohibit

victimisation in certain circumstances; to require the exercise of certain

functions to be with regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and other

prohibited conduct; to enable duties to be imposed in relation to the exercise

of public procurement functions; to increase equality of opportunity; to

amend the law relating to rights and responsibilities in family relationships;

and for connected purposes. 

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1

Socio-economic inequalities

1       

Public sector duty regarding socio-economic inequalities

(1)   

An authority to which this section applies must, when making decisions of a

strategic nature about how to exercise its functions, have due regard to the

5

desirability of exercising them in a way that is designed to reduce the

inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage.

(2)   

In deciding how to fulfil a duty to which it is subject under subsection (1), an

authority must take into account any guidance issued by a Minister of the

Crown.

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Equality Bill
Part 1 — Socio-economic inequalities

2

 

(3)   

The authorities to which this section applies are—

(a)   

a Minister of the Crown;

(b)   

a government department other than the Security Service, the Secret

Intelligence Service or the Government Communications Head-

quarters;

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(c)   

a county council or district council in England;

(d)   

the Greater London Authority;

(e)   

a London borough council;

(f)   

the Common Council of the City of London in its capacity as a local

authority;

10

(g)   

the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

(h)   

a Strategic Health Authority established under section 13 of the

National Health Service Act 2006, or continued in existence by virtue of

that section;

(i)   

a Primary Care Trust established under section 18 of that Act, or

15

continued in existence by virtue of that section;

(j)   

a regional development agency established by the Regional

Development Agencies Act 1998;

(k)   

a police authority established for an area in England.

(4)   

This section also applies to an authority that—

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(a)   

is a partner authority in relation to a responsible local authority, and

(b)   

does not fall within subsection (3),

   

but only in relation to its participation in the preparation or modification of a

sustainable community strategy.

(5)   

In subsection (4)—

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“partner authority” has the meaning given by section 104 of the Local

Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007;

“responsible local authority” has the meaning given by section 103 of that

Act;

“sustainable community strategy” means a strategy prepared under

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section 4 of the Local Government Act 2000.

(6)   

The reference to inequalities in subsection (1) does not include any inequalities

experienced by a person as a result of being a person subject to immigration

control within the meaning given by section 115(9) of the Immigration and

Asylum Act 1999.

35

2       

Power to amend section 1

(1)   

A Minister of the Crown may by regulations amend section 1 so as to—

(a)   

add a public authority to the authorities that are subject to the duty

under subsection (1) of that section;

(b)   

remove an authority from those that are subject to the duty;

40

(c)   

make the duty apply, in the case of a particular authority, only in

relation to certain functions that it has;

(d)   

in the case of an authority to which the application of the duty is

already restricted to certain functions, remove or alter the restriction.

(2)   

In subsection (1) “public authority” means an authority that has functions of a

45

public nature.

 
 

Equality Bill
Part 1 — Socio-economic inequalities

3

 

(3)   

Provision made under subsection (1) may not impose a duty on an authority in

relation to any devolved Scottish functions or devolved Welsh functions.

(4)   

The Scottish Ministers or the Welsh Ministers may by regulations amend

section 1 so as to—

(a)   

add a relevant authority to the authorities that are subject to the duty

5

under subsection (1) of that section;

(b)   

remove a relevant authority from those that are subject to the duty;

(c)   

make the duty apply, in the case of a particular relevant authority, only

in relation to certain functions that it has;

(d)   

in the case of a relevant authority to which the application of the duty

10

is already restricted to certain functions, remove or alter the restriction.

(5)   

For the purposes of the power conferred by subsection (4) on the Scottish

Ministers, “relevant authority” means an authority whose functions—

(a)   

are exercisable only in or as regards Scotland,

(b)   

are wholly or mainly devolved Scottish functions, and

15

(c)   

correspond or are similar to those of an authority for the time being

specified in section 1(3).

(6)   

For the purposes of the power conferred by subsection (4) on the Welsh

Ministers, “relevant authority” means an authority whose functions—

(a)   

are exercisable only in or as regards Wales,

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(b)   

are wholly or mainly devolved Welsh functions, and

(c)   

correspond or are similar to those of an authority for the time being

specified in subsection (3) of section 1 or referred to in subsection (4) of

that section.

(7)   

Before making regulations under this section, the Scottish Ministers or the

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Welsh Ministers must consult a Minister of the Crown.

(8)   

Regulations under this section may make any amendments of section 1 that

appear to the Minister or Ministers to be necessary or expedient in consequence

of provision made under subsection (1) or (as the case may be) subsection (4).

(9)   

Provision made by the Scottish Ministers or the Welsh Ministers in reliance on

30

subsection (8) may, in particular, amend section 1 so as to—

(a)   

confer on the Ministers a power to issue guidance;

(b)   

require a relevant authority to take into account any guidance issued

under a power conferred by virtue of paragraph (a);

(c)   

disapply section 1(2) in consequence of the imposition of a requirement

35

by virtue of paragraph (b).

(10)   

Before issuing guidance under a power conferred by virtue of subsection (9)(a),

the Ministers must—

(a)   

take into account any guidance issued by a Minister of the Crown

under section 1;

40

(b)   

consult a Minister of the Crown.

(11)   

For the purposes of this section—

(a)   

a function is a devolved Scottish function if it is exercisable in or as

regards Scotland and it does not relate to reserved matters (within the

meaning of the Scotland Act 1998);

45

(b)   

a function is a devolved Welsh function if it relates to a matter in respect

of which functions are exercisable by the Welsh Ministers, the First

 
 

Equality Bill
Part 2 — Equality: key concepts
Chapter 1 — Protected characteristics

4

 

Minister for Wales or the Counsel General to the Welsh Assembly

Government, or to a matter within the legislative competence of the

National Assembly for Wales.

3       

Enforcement

A failure in respect of a performance of a duty under section 1 does not confer

5

a cause of action at private law.

Part 2

Equality: key concepts

Chapter 1

Protected characteristics

10

4       

The protected characteristics

The following characteristics are protected characteristics—

age;

disability;

gender reassignment;

15

marriage and civil partnership;

pregnancy and maternity;

race;

religion or belief;

sex;

20

sexual orientation.

5       

Age

(1)   

In relation to the protected characteristic of age—

(a)   

a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is

a reference to a person of a particular age group;

25

(b)   

a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference

to persons of the same age group.

(2)   

A reference to an age group is a reference to a group of persons defined by

reference to age, whether by reference to a particular age or to a range of ages.

6       

Disability

30

(1)   

A person (P) has a disability if—

(a)   

P has a physical or mental impairment, and

(b)   

the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P’s

ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

(2)   

A reference to a disabled person is a reference to a person who has a disability.

35

(3)   

In relation to the protected characteristic of disability—

(a)   

a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is

a reference to a person who has a particular disability;

 
 

Equality Bill
Part 2 — Equality: key concepts
Chapter 1 — Protected characteristics

5

 

(b)   

a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference

to persons who have the same disability.

(4)   

This Act (except Part 12 and section 190) applies in relation to a person who has

had a disability as it applies in relation to a person who has the disability;

accordingly, except in that Part and that section—

5

(a)   

a reference (however expressed) to a person who has a disability

includes a reference to a person who has had the disability, and

(b)   

a reference (however expressed) to a person who does not have a

disability includes a reference to a person who has not had the

disability.

10

(5)   

A Minister of the Crown may issue guidance about matters to be taken into

account in deciding any question for the purposes of subsection (1).

(6)   

Schedule 1 (disability: supplementary provision) has effect.

7       

Gender reassignment

(1)   

A person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if the person

15

is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of

a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing

physiological or other attributes of sex.

(2)   

A reference to a transsexual person is a reference to a person who has the

protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

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(3)   

In relation to the protected characteristic of gender reassignment—

(a)   

a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is

a reference to a transsexual person;

(b)   

a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference

to transsexual persons.

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8       

Marriage and civil partnership

(1)   

A person has the protected characteristic of marriage and civil partnership if

the person is married or is a civil partner.

(2)   

In relation to the protected characteristic of marriage and civil partnership—

(a)   

a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is

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a reference to a person who is married or is a civil partner;

(b)   

a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference

to persons who are married or are civil partners.

9       

Race

(1)   

Race includes—

35

(a)   

colour;

(b)   

nationality;

(c)   

ethnic or national origins.

(2)   

In relation to the protected characteristic of race—

(a)   

a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is

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a reference to a person of a particular racial group;

 
 

Equality Bill
Part 2 — Equality: key concepts
Chapter 1 — Protected characteristics

6

 

(b)   

a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference

to persons of the same racial group.

(3)   

A racial group is a group of persons defined by reference to race; and a

reference to a person’s racial group is a reference to a racial group into which

the person falls.

5

(4)   

The fact that a racial group comprises two or more distinct racial groups does

not prevent it from constituting a particular racial group.

(5)   

A Minister of the Crown may by order—

(a)   

amend this section so as to provide for caste to be an aspect of race;

(b)   

amend this Act so as to provide for an exception to a provision of this

10

Act to apply, or not to apply, to caste or to apply, or not to apply, to

caste in specified circumstances.

(6)   

The power under section 207(4)(b), in its application to subsection (5), includes

power to amend this Act.

10      

Religion or belief

15

(1)   

Religion means any religion and a reference to religion includes a reference to

a lack of religion.

(2)   

Belief means any religious or philosophical belief and a reference to belief

includes a reference to a lack of belief.

(3)   

In relation to the protected characteristic of religion or belief—

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(a)   

a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is

a reference to a person of a particular religion or belief;

(b)   

a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference

to persons who are of the same religion or belief.

11      

Sex

25

In relation to the protected characteristic of sex—

(a)   

a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is

a reference to a man or to a woman;

(b)   

a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference

to persons of the same sex.

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12      

Sexual orientation

(1)   

Sexual orientation means a person’s sexual orientation towards—

(a)   

persons of the same sex,

(b)   

persons of the opposite sex, or

(c)   

persons of either sex.

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(2)   

In relation to the protected characteristic of sexual orientation—

(a)   

a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is

a reference to a person who is of a particular sexual orientation;

(b)   

a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference

to persons who are of the same sexual orientation.

40

 
 

Equality Bill
Part 2 — Equality: key concepts
Chapter 2 — Prohibited conduct

7

 

Chapter 2

Prohibited conduct

Discrimination

13      

Direct discrimination

(1)   

A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if, because of a protected

5

characteristic, A treats B less favourably than A treats or would treat others.

(2)   

If the protected characteristic is age, A does not discriminate against B if A can

show A’s treatment of B to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate

aim.

(3)   

If the protected characteristic is disability, and B is not a disabled person, A

10

does not discriminate against B only because A treats or would treat disabled

persons more favourably than A treats B.

(4)   

If the protected characteristic is marriage and civil partnership, this section

applies to a contravention of Part 5 (work) only if the treatment is because it is

B who is married or a civil partner.

15

(5)   

If the protected characteristic is race, less favourable treatment includes

segregating B from others.

(6)   

If the protected characteristic is sex—

(a)   

less favourable treatment of a woman includes less favourable

treatment of her because she is breast-feeding;

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(b)   

in a case where B is a man, no account is to be taken of special treatment

afforded to a woman in connection with pregnancy or childbirth.

(7)   

Subsection (6)(a) does not apply for the purposes of Part 5 (work).

(8)   

This section is subject to sections 17(6) and 18(7).

14      

Combined discrimination: dual characteristics

25

(1)   

A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if, because of a combination of

two relevant protected characteristics, A treats B less favourably than A treats

or would treat a person who does not share either of those characteristics.

(2)   

The relevant protected characteristics are—

(a)   

age;

30

(b)   

disability;

(c)   

gender reassignment;

(d)   

race

(e)   

religion or belief;

(f)   

sex;

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(g)   

sexual orientation.

(3)   

For the purposes of establishing a contravention of this Act by virtue of

subsection (1), B need not show that A’s treatment of B is direct discrimination

because of each of the characteristics in the combination (taken separately).

 
 

 
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