New Employment Equality Regulations

Recruitment specialists, Blue Arrow, have warned businesses not to be caught out by new Employment Equality Regulations.

The Regulations, which are designed to outlaw any forms of direct or indirect discrimination against an individual on the grounds of religious belief or sexual orientation, were introduced at the start of December 2003.

“The new laws are more extensive than many companies will realise at first.” said Wayne Story, MD, Blue Arrow Operations. “Judgments made by unknowing employees towards others on actual or perceived grounds could cause companies to be in breach of the new rules, leaving directors open to costly claims.”

“In the early stages of this new legislation, it is essential that companies make everyone aware of the new working practices that must be instigated – not just top management. Special emphasis must be made for those responsible for recruitment, advertising and managing staff at work. In the long-term, UK society has moved a step closer towards removing discrimination, victimisation and harassment in the workplace for the benefit of all."

The Employment Equality Regulations are structured around two specific strands, namely the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations, effective from the 01 December, and the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations effective from the 02 December.

Areas of ‘association’ are also covered, namely any form of discrimination which occurs as a result of a person associating with others who are perceived to be of a particular sexual orientation and/or religion or belief. The rules which apply to working conditions, pay, promotion, transfers, and during periods of vocational training continue to apply even after employment has ended.

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