Minister announces £2.5m equality awareness fund

Deputy equality minister Meg Munn has unveiled a  £2.5m fund to help voluntary organisations raise employee awareness of employment equality regulations.

The money will help voluntary and not-for-profit organisations raise the profile of sexual orientation and religion or belief legislation.

A panel of representatives from the DTI, Welsh Assembly Government and Scotland Office will assess the bids and make recommendations to the head of employment relations at the DTI, Janice Munday, who will make the final decision.

Munn said the money would benefit organisations around the country in their work to raise awareness of this legislation.

“It is important that employers and their employees know the facts to enable them to reap the business benefits of a happy and diverse workforce,” she said.

Under the Employment Equality Regulations, which came into force in December 2003, individuals who feel they have been discriminated against on the grounds of sexual orientation, religion or belief can take their complaint to an employment tribunal.

If a tribunal finds in their favour there is no upper limit to the amount of compensation the organisation maybe be ordered to pay.

The funding is available up to 31 March 2007 and organisations are invited to submit proposals by 27 July.

Further details are available online.

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