Government yet to confirm date for harassment and discrimination changes

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has failed to confirm a date for the forthcoming repeal of third-party harassment provisions and discrimination questionnaires.

A recent government statement suggested that March 2013 would see the implementation date for the repeal of the provisions in the Equality Act 2010 on such questionnaires.

However, a BIS spokesperson said the March 2013 date referenced in the statement was incorrect and confirmed that BIS is currently trying to amend it, adding that it is unable to specify when the repeals will come into force.

Jeya Thiruchelvam, employment law editor at XpertHR, said the lack of certainty surrounding the timing of the repeals will affect employers: “The Government’s failure to confirm a date for the repeal of these provisions highlights the disadvantage of its movement away from the previous common commencement dates of 6 April and 1 October.

“The certainty of knowing that employment law changes were confined to two dates of the year gave employers the confidence of knowing that they would not unwittingly fall foul of a change in the law through being unaware of a particular change, and the ability to plan for such changes. Unconfirmed and constantly shifting implementation dates simply create confusion that employers could do without.”

XpertHR has FAQs on third-party harassment and statutory discrimination.

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