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Equality Law

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will introduce legislation to unify and extend equality law. [119754]

The Government are taking forward a significant legislative agenda on equality matters. This includes introducing protection against discrimination in employment and vocational training on the grounds of sexual orientation, religion and belief and age to implement the EU Employment and Race Directives. We are also strengthening and widening existing disability legislation, providing rights of recognition for trans-gendered people and looking at how same sex partnerships might be recognised.These are complex and far reaching changes which will need time to bed down once they are introduced. We are ensuring that we implement the Employment and Race Directives in a way that achieves greater consistency wherever possible across the equality strands. We do not believe however that comprehensive unifying legislation is the most appropriate way forward.