New Equalities Act

Posted: October 1, 2010 in Finance, Gender, Law, Politics, Sex & Sexuality
Tags: ,

Hmm. I just found this on the BBC website. I’ve tried to plough through the whole thing here, but I failed. If anyone can make sense of things – there’s some things that I’m unclear as to whether they’re there – they’re welcome – more information here.

Anyway, it’s a new Equality Act. As far as I can see, it’s pretty good but probably could be better. I’m not sure it applies, for example, where A (as was referred to throughout) discriminates against B on account of a protected characteristic that A perceives B to have; for example, because A thinks B looks like a lesbian (EDIT – the Beeb says that’s covered). It’s good that they’ve removed the need for trans people to be under medical supervision for protected status, although I can’t work out the extent of the impact. (dammit, I should have taken Law!)

However, I’m rather… shall we say disapproving, of the arguments against the Act. I am of the economically-annoying opinion that cost be damned, we all have a right to the same facilities and opportunities. We are all equal. I can’t sympathise with businesses saying that ‘it’ll place an extra burden on us just when we’re trying to recover.’ (or politicians agreeing with them.) I’m sorry, businesses, but if you were already doing the decent thing and not discriminating, it wouldn’t affect you that much. As for the thing about it costing £190m to understand the Act… well, skeptical face.

As per normal, no recognition for folks like me who aren’t man or woman, but then I’ve kinda given up expecting it. Not sure about the backtracking on the men vs women pay reveal part – backtracking on it is bad. There does need to be a big change in the attitudes to pay and the taboo on talking about it before that kind of clause will go down easily, but also, conversely, before people will compare of their own accords.

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