UK aims to reduce socio-economic inequalities
1 min read

UK aims to reduce socio-economic inequalities

The UK government has introduced legislation which will for the first time require all public bodies to actively work towards reducing inequality.

The Equality Bill will require public organisations to report on inequalities concerning gender pay, disability employment, and ethnic minority employment, according to Harriet Harman, UK Minister for Women and Equality.

“The Equality Bill will significantly strengthen and streamline discrimination legislation to make Britain a fairer and more equal place,” she said in a press release.

There will also be a series of inquiries in different sectors where there is clear inequality, carried out by the country’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, which will begin with the financial services industry and the construction industry.

In the financial services industry there is a gender pay gap of 41.5 per cent compared with the national figure of 21 per cent, while the construction industry employs just 2.5 per cent of its workers from ethnic minorities, compared with around 8 per cent across other UK industries.

The Bill also introduces support for “positive action” on equality for those organisations who wish to employ more workers from a certain under-represented group.

Certain public bodies will also be obliged to take strategic decisions “in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage,” as stated in the new legislation.

The UK Equality Bill is already provoking much discussion, and we would be keen to hear your opinions on the issue. Have you got any thoughts about the new measures? Have you seen other examples of this sort of legislation? Let us know by leaving a comment on our LinkedIn group or alternatively you can reach us via the contact page.

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