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Proposed changes

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Last updated 21st December 2021 (part update 31st January, 2024).

This section of the site summarises some proposed or likely changes to the disability discrimination law. The proposed changes do not necessarily apply to Northern Ireland.

Retained EU Law Act

This Act, as yet only partly in force, is altering the position of EU law in Britain. It creates uncertainty, and may well reduce Equality Act protection in certain areas. However regulations preserve some parts of EU case law on the Equality Act, retaining a wider meaning of disability, and allowing indirect discrimination by association. More: Retained EU law Act 2023.

Employment tribunal fees

Employment tribunal fees are not currently payable. However, in January 2024 the government issued a consultation period on re-introducing them. See Employment tribunal fees: may be re-introduced.

Sexual harassment: government response, 2021

In July 2021 the government issued its Consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace: government response (gov.uk):

Disability workforce reporting

In December 2021 the government launched a consultation on whether disability workforce reporting – eg publishing what proportion of their workforce is disabled – should be mandatory for large employers, ie those with at least 250 employees. The consultation also includes practical issues such as people who have a disability within the EqA but who do not identify as disabled or do not feel comfortable disclosing the information. See Disability workforce reporting (gov.uk).

Employment status

Following the Matthew Taylor review of modern working practices, the government’s Good Work Plan of December 2018 discussed proposals to clarify and probably extend the types of worker covered by the Equality Act.

This is especially important with the growth of the gig economy and ‘zero hours’ contracts.

See Employment status proposals.

Enforcement

Changes on enforcing the Equality Act have been proposed in various reports. Two were in 2019, by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee and, on legal aid, by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. See Enforcement of Equality Act: proposals.

Bill of Rights Bill: withdrawn

Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, announced in June 2023 that the government is not proceeding with the Bill of Rights Bill.

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