Equality in Employment Regulations – Implementation Issues

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2003 Local Government Service Group Conference
18 February 2003

Conference notes that in October 2002 the Government published draft regulations required by the European Union Employment Directive which will outlaw workplace discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and of religion and belief from December 2003.

Conference further notes that the Employers Organisation has published a brief guide to the main provisions of the regulations and a checklist of issues for consideration as part of new or existing equality strategies in councils. The latter calls upon each council to make a clear, unequivocal, positive and proactive statement acknowledging and welcoming the new regulations and that staff and managers are informed about them and what they mean for them.

Conference is disappointed by the scope of this long delayed legislation first called for by one of UNISON’s partner unions a quarter of century ago. Nevertheless it welcomes the Employers Organisation’s initiative to ensure successful implementation. It urges each branch to seek discussion with their respective councils on its implementation proposals and that regional local government committees support branches to do so, monitor implementation and raise the matter with Provincial Councils as appropriate.

Conference instructs the Service Group Executive to keep the matter under review, to issue any necessary advice to regions and branches and to ensure it is taken up with employers other than local authorities too.