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Caste Discrimination

Volume 600: debated on Thursday 15 October 2015

3. If she will bring forward legislative proposals to repeal the provisions relating to caste discrimination in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. (901558)

The Government completely oppose caste discrimination and the judgments in the Tirkey v. Chandhok case suggest that legal protection against such discrimination already exists under the Equality Act 2010. We are considering the legislative position in the light of those judgments.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. She will be aware that the case was brought under the Equality Act 2010, not the ill-thought-out and unnecessary amendment made in the other place to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act. This unnecessary and divisive legislation has caused consternation in the Hindu community. Will she undertake not only not to trigger that legislation but to repeal it so that the Hindu community will know where it stands legally?

I thank my hon. Friend for that question and I know that he feels passionately about this matter. There are, of course, strong opinions on both sides of the debate. It is important, given the case that I have just mentioned, to remember that the law as it stands has changed because of that judgment. A litigant could now seek to bring a case of caste discrimination in an employment tribunal using the ethnic origin provisions in the Equality Act, which is why we should take time to look at the judgment before making further decisions.