Equality body needs to embrace diversity

The Government’s proposed single equality body should crystalise the
business case for diversity and reduce confusion among employers, said the
Chartered Institute of Development (CIPD).

The Government is consulting on its plans to introduce the Commission for
Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) to promote human rights issues and deal with
all aspects of discrimination.

CIPD director general Geoff Armstrong said the move could lead to a shift
towards better employment practice, but warned it must avoid introducing
further workplace legislation.

"This is an opportunity to rethink diversity and set it on a more
positive path," he said. "The body will have the capacity to reduce
the confusion and bureaucratic burden on business. An approach that promotes
all forms of diversity in the workplace is to be welcomed."

The new authority would simplify the system that is operated through several
different agencies including the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), the
Equal Opportunities Commission, and the Disability Rights Commission.

The CEHR will be responsible for dealing with discrimination on the grounds
of age, sexual orientation, religion and belief.

– The CRE is to publish a new code of practice on race issues in the
workplace to help firms deal with the mountain of changes since the code came
into force 20 years ago.


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