First draft of Equality Bill could pave way for positive discrimination

Harriet Harman will unveil the first draft of the Equality Bill before Parliament today – potentially paving the way for positive discrimination in the workplace.

Several reports claim the equalities minister’s White Paper will force companies to disclose the average pay gap between male and female employees, as well as other diversity statistics.

The Bill will also outlaw prejudice through the provision of goods and services on the basis of age, yet another step towards ending age discrimination.

Harman told Radio 4’s Today programme that employers have nothing to lose from publishing the statistics.

“We have structural discrimination on pay. We will be able to see it clearly for the first time, workplace by workplace, and then women will be able see that they are paid less than men and they will be able to complain about it and challenge it,” Harman said.

Private firms learned this week they will have to publish details of their diversity policies when applying for government contracts.

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