14
Tue, Jul

Equality Act guidance may leave small firms confused, Forum warns

Equality Act guidance may leave small firms confused, Forum warns

?
Guidance drawn up to help employers understand the Equality Act may prove baffling to small firms, the Forum of Private Business has warned. The non-statutory guidance on the Act has been drawn up by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). It is supposed to be clear and simple enough for all businesses to understand but, with the document stretching to more than 300 pages, and with just six months to go before the Act comes into force in October, the Forum is concerned that many small businesses will struggle to make sense of their new obligations.?
The Forum believes much of the guidance's wording is ambiguous and misleading and has raised its concerns with the EHRC in response to a consultation on the guidance which closed on Friday (16 April).?
?
In a letter to the equality watchdog's chairman, Trevor Philips, Forum chief executive Phil Orford welcomed the Act as a move aimed at consolidating existing anti-discrimination legislation. However, he points out that the guidance accompanying the Act appears to have been drawn up with only large businesses in mind.?
?
Calling for clearer guidance to be issued, Orford said: "Understandably, the EHRC wants to ensure that legislative change translates into practical changes in the workplace and that equality becomes a part of everyday business. We understand the value of this aim and believe that it is achievable for most small businesses. However, it will only be achieved when businesses are given clarity about their obligations and are not being overburdened by regulation."
?
The Equality Bill recently became the Equality Act after receiving Royal Assent on 8 April 2010. Many of its main provisions will come into force in October 2010 but others are set to be phased in over the next three years.
?

Upcoming Events

@ImageReports

Facebook