New laws to prevent discrimination in the workplace on grounds of sexual orientation or religion come into force this week.
The Sexual Orientation Regulations become law in Great Britain today, 1 December and the Religion or Belief Regulations tomorrow, 2 December.
Jacqui Smith, Deputy Minister for Women and Equality said: “This new legislation will establish minimum requirements in law so that people can no longer be denied jobs because of prejudice; so that harassment can be tackled promptly and effectively; and so that people have an equal chance of training and promotion, whatever their background.”
The Regulations implement strands of the European Employment Directive (Council Directive 2000/78/EC). The Employment Directive outlaws discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability and age in employment and vocational training. Amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 implementing the Directive will come into force in October 2004 and new legislation outlawing discrimination on grounds of age by the end of 2006.
In addition, the revised Code of Practice on Equal Pay comes into effect today as well as the widely publicised ban on hand-held mobile telephones in cars, with liability for employers.
Feature article: dealing with the religious discrimination regulations
Feature article: sexual orientation discrimination
ACAS publishes sexual orientation and religion guides
Practical tips on the new discrimination regulations
Asking the unaskable – requesting details on race, religion and disability
Equalities monitoring – is anyone asking a question about either religion and/or sexual orientation?
Firms urged to review diversity policies
Employers “unprepared” for new religion, belief and sexual orientation legislation
Mobiles and company cars
Company car policy
Feature article: the new mobile phone law
Firms urged to update policies in advance of new mobile phone legislation
mobile phone legislation
mobile phone policy
mobile phone law: minimising the risks