Harriet Harman, Minister for Women and Equality, has welcomed the completion
of the Equality Bill through the House of Commons.
The Equality Bill sets out groundbreaking new laws which will help narrow the
gap between rich and poor; require businesses to report on gender pay; outlaw age discrimination; and significantly
strengthen Britain’s anti-discrimination legislation.
The Equality Bill will now progress to the House of Lords with two major
1. The socio-economic duty, which imposes a requirement on key public bodies
such as government departments and local authorities to narrow the gap between
rich and poor, will now also apply in Scotland.
2. Strengthened protection for disabled people against discrimination, such as
restricting the use of pre-employment questionnaires about health or disability
during the recruitment process.
Ms Harman said:
“I’m pleased that the Bill has completed its passage in the House of Commons,
and I want to congratulate the ministerial team of equality bill ministers, Vera
Baird and Michael Foster, who steered it through. I look forward to it taking
its place on the statute book, following further scrutiny by the House of
“This landmark Bill contains groundbreaking provisions to narrow the gap
between rich and poor, and fight discrimination in all its forms – including age
“This Bill will make Britain a more equal place, and help us build a stronger
economy and fairer society for the future.”
An innovative, new ‘Easy Read’ version of the Equality Bill is being
published today to help improve understanding of the concepts involved in the
Bill for wider audiences. The document is available online at http://www.equalities.gov.uk.
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