Top employment lawyer claims government struggling to cope with number of responses to Single Equality Bill consultation

The government is “scratching its head” over what to do with responses to its consultation on the Single Equality Bill, a leading employment lawyer has claimed.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed it had received more than 4,000 responses to the Green Paper consultation, which ended in September this year. The paper’s aim was to work out how to streamline existing equalities law to simplify proceedings for employers, currently bound by nine pieces of major legislation.

The Bill, initially launched by the Communities and Local Government (CLG) department, is part of the Discrimination Law Review (DLR) launched in February 2005.

Sue Ashtiany, partner and head of employment at law firm Nabarro, and former equal opportunities commissioner, said the government had an “enormous challenge” ahead to work out the best way to simplify current equalities legislation.

“The government is scratching its head about what to do or the way to deal with responses to the DLR review consultation. My guess is you wont get something hugely holistic; there is not one key to unlock the door,” she said.

But a DWP spokeswoman said the government was “not struggling” with the amount of responses.

“We are delighted with the amount of responses we received. All the views put forward are being considered and will be published in a formal government response at some point soon. It’s not a question of struggling; it’s not to do with that – we are going through the responses,” she told Personnel Today.

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