Women and Equalities Committee report: Enforcing the Equality Act – the law and the role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission

‘The individual approach to enforcement of equality law is no longer fit for purpose’ says the July 2019 report (pdf) from the Women and Equalities Committee on their year-long inquiry.

The report recommends:

  • Developing a ‘critical mass’ of cases to inform employers and organisations about their legal duties and make adherence to existing equality law a priority for all organisations
  • Moving away from relying so heavily on the current model of using individual litigation to create precedents
  • Making obligations on employers, public authorities, and service providers explicit and enforceable
  • Ensuring that all who have powers to change the way in which employers, public bodies and service providers operate use their powers to eliminate discrimination and to advance equality.

Committee Chair Maria Miller states:

“Above all, the Government must act on its own obligations. It must embed compliance and enforcement of the Equality Act into its most significant strategies and action plans.

That it has not yet done so in its recent efforts to improve the quality of work – where stopping discrimination is so clearly an essential precondition to any improvements – beggars belief.

Our report sets out exactly what needs to be done, and we look forward to hearing how the Government plans to act on this.”

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