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Correct the Imbalance of the Equality Bill

Comment 8th July 2010

There is a need to clarify the meaning of the Equality Bill and publish it in plain English.

The Equality Act, like many others, was a good idea at first. However, it has now been used as a weapon by so many that it no longer maintains any balance and has lost a great deal of its original credibilty. For instance, it is fair to suggest equal opportunity in the job market and in the workplace, provided equal qualifications are available. To insist that eleven per cent of public appointments are to be filled from ethnic minorities is nonsensical unless one also insists that the eleven per cent have the same qualifications and experience as the other eighy-nine per cent.

In addition, the Equality Act is all too often confused with the Human Rights Act. Equal opportunity must not be confused with equal rights; they are two totally separate concepts. To state that an individual has the same opportunity as any other does not necessarily mean that the individual has the same rights as any other.

Why does this matter?

It is important that it is clearly understood by all parties that equal opportunity in the workplace demands equal ability. Otherwise, an individual from an ethnic minority who is unsuccessful in acquiring a job can claim prejudice by of the employer. This in turn results in costly and time-wasting legislation while legal council makes claims of a person's right to employment. 

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