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In support of equality

The CSP gave its support to a TUC motion to campaign for further improvements to the equality bill.

Philip Hulse, CSP regional steward, said the Society supports the idea of a single equality duty, which will bring together the existing duties of race, gender and disability. But the proposals were in danger of being watered down, he warned.

‘We welcome many of the proposals contained in the bill but the opportunity it presents to have a real and lasting impact will be greatly reduced as it stands at the moment,’ he said.

The Society is concerned about the lack of statutory obligations on employers, which could lead to fewer employers carrying out impact assessments.

‘It is not yet clear whether the new legislation will include an obligation on employers to carry out equality impact assessments,’ Mr Hulse said. ‘The government has, however, made it clear that it will not legislate for mandatory equal pay audits.’

He added that training and awareness raising for staff must also be part of the ‘equalities package’.  A Healthcare Commission survey had revealed that only a third of NHS staff had received training on disability or race issues from their employer, he told delegates.  Even less had received training on gender, age, sexual orientation or religion.

‘We call on the TUC to continue its excellent work in the field of equalities and diversity by continuing to campaign for further improvements to the bill,’ he concluded. The motion was carried.

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