Thu 28 Oct 2021

What's New in Discrimination Law?

Take a closer look at what is new in discrimination law

Women and Equalities Committee conduct inquiry into menopause in workplace

An inquiry into workplace practices and its effect on women with menopausal symptoms is currently being carried out by the House of Common's Women and Equalities Committee. The Committee is looking at discrimination legislation and considering whether more can be done to prevent women from leaving their jobs as a result of the menopause or other adverse consequences. The consultation period closed on 17 September 2021 and the inquiry's recommendations are expected later in the year.

There have been increasing numbers of cases in the Employment Tribunal where women suffering from symptoms of menopause has been found to be covered by the Equality Act 2010 using the protected characteristics of age, sex or disability discrimination. The inquiry will look at whether further legislation is required and whether employers should be required to have a dedicated workplace menopause policy as an additional protection.

Gender Pay Gap toolkit published by EHRC and CMI

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have joined forces to create a practical toolkit to support employers in tackling their gender pay gap. This is in response to a warning from the EHRC that the Covid-19 pandemic led to a widening of the pay gap between men and women. It is feared that the extended deadline for pay gap reporting, pushed back 6 months to 5 October 2021, resulted in employers de-prioritising the issue.

The toolkit can be found here and includes case studies, recommended actions for employers and various useful guides.

Survey reveals employees think employers are not doing enough to support diversity and inclusion

A recent survey carried out by technology consultancy firm, Thoughtworks, found that the majority of employees do not feel as if their employer is doing enough to support diversity and inclusion ay work. The study found that 28% of those aged 25 and over felt that employers were not doing enough to support inclusion, equality and diversity in the workplace.  This number fell to only 11% of those under the age of 25. 

The survey also found that 40% of respondents felt employers needed to do more to support employees with disabilities and 39% felt more support was required to families with low incomes and those from socially deprived areas.  Age discrimination was highlighted as an issue by over a third of those in the 55+ age bracket.  In terms of policies, the areas highlighted as requiring more focus from employers were gender discrimination, support for LGBTQ+ employees and greater inclusion for people of different races and ethnicities.

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