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The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill: A Step Forward for Workplace Equality

Darryl Horn, Monday, 13 February 2023 • 4 min read

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill is a piece of legislation that has been making waves in the UK. The bill seeks to amend the Equality Act 2010, which prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of certain characteristics, such as age, gender, and race. The proposed amendments to the Act aim to strengthen protections for workers against discrimination and harassment in the workplace. In this article, we will explore what the Worker Protection Bill entails and how it could impact employers and employees in the UK.

The Worker Protection Bill aims to address several key issues related to workplace discrimination and harassment. First and foremost, the bill seeks to extend protections against discrimination to individuals who are not currently covered by the Equality Act 2010. This includes individuals who are self-employed, interns, and volunteers, as well as those who work in non-traditional employment arrangements, such as gig economy workers.

In addition to expanding the scope of protections against discrimination, the Worker Protection Bill also aims to make it easier for individuals to bring claims of discrimination or harassment in the workplace. The bill proposes several measures to achieve this, such as reducing the burden of proof on claimants and allowing for anonymous reporting of incidents of discrimination or harassment.

Perhaps most significantly, the Worker Protection Bill seeks to place new responsibilities on employers to prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Under the proposed legislation, employers would be required to take proactive steps to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring in the first place. This could include providing training to employees on workplace equality and diversity, as well as implementing policies and procedures to address incidents of discrimination or harassment.

So, what does all of this mean for employers and employees in the UK? On the one hand, the Worker Protection Bill could be seen as a burden for employers, who will now be required to take on additional responsibilities and potentially face legal consequences if they fail to meet their obligations. However, it is important to note that the bill could also have some positive impacts for both employers and employees.

For employers, the Worker Protection Bill presents an opportunity to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace. By taking proactive steps to prevent discrimination and harassment, employers can create a culture of respect and equality that can benefit all employees. Additionally, by extending protections against discrimination to a broader range of workers, employers can ensure that all individuals are treated fairly and with dignity in the workplace.

For employees, the Worker Protection Bill represents a significant step forward in the fight against workplace discrimination and harassment. The bill will provide greater protections to individuals who may have previously been excluded from existing anti-discrimination laws, such as those who are self-employed or working in non-traditional employment arrangements. Additionally, the bill's proposed measures to make it easier to bring claims of discrimination or harassment could empower individuals to speak out about incidents of mistreatment in the workplace, which could ultimately lead to positive changes in workplace culture.

Of course, it is important to note that the Worker Protection Bill is not a panacea for all issues related to workplace discrimination and harassment. There are still significant challenges to be addressed in terms of changing attitudes and behaviors around these issues. However, the proposed legislation represents a significant step forward in creating a more equal and inclusive workplace for all individuals.

In conclusion, the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill has the potential to bring about significant positive change in the UK workplace. By expanding protections against discrimination and harassment, and placing new responsibilities on employers to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place, the bill could create a more inclusive and diverse workplace culture.

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill: A Step Forward for Workplace Equality
This article was first published on 13/2/23.

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About the author

Darryl

Darryl is a Chartered CIPD Member, business leader and operational manager with 30 years experience in on-the-ground and strategic HR, specialising in Human Resources Management, Employment Law, Employee Relations and Learning & Development.

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