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Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the EHRC inquiry

Inquiry

The individual approach to enforcement of equality law is no longer fit for purpose, says the Women and Equalities Committee in the report of its year-long inquiry.

The report argues against relying on the individual approach, dating back to the 60s and 70s, and recommends that this must be replaced by a new approach which provides a sustainable deterrent and tackles institutional and systemic discrimination.

While individuals must still have the right to challenge discrimination in the courts, says the Committee, the system of enforcement should ensure that this is only rarely needed: this will require a fundamental shift in the way that enforcement of the Equality Act is thought about and applied.

The Committee has already made recommendations to improve the enforcement of the Equality Act in specific areas. It now wants to know what more needs to be done to achieve widespread compliance with the Equality Act 2010 for all those with rights under it, including:

  • the processes by which individual cases can be brought under the Equality Act, including the barriers that may prevent claimants from enforcing their rights
  • the role of the EHRC as the enforcement body, including the effectiveness of its duties, powers and policies
  • whether there are other models of enforcement that could achieve more widespread compliance with the rights set out in the Equality Act 2010.

Reports, special reports and government responses

View all reports and responses
10th Report - Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission
Inquiry Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the EHRC inquiry
HC 1470
Report
Response to this report
1st Special Report - Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission: Government and Equality and Human Rights Commission Responses to the Committee’s Tenth Report of Session 2017–19
HC 96
Special Report
1st Special Report - Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission: Government and Equality and Human Rights Commission Responses to the Committee’s Tenth Report of Session 2017–19
Inquiry Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the EHRC inquiry
HC 96
Special Report

Oral evidence transcripts

View all oral evidence transcripts
5 June 2019
Inquiry Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the EHRC inquiry
Witnesses David Isaac, Chair, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Clare Collier, Legal Director, Equality and Human Rights Commission; Baroness Williams of Trafford, Minister of State for Equalities, Charles Ramsden, Deputy Director, Government Equalities Office
Oral Evidence
22 May 2019
Inquiry Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the EHRC inquiry
Witnesses Janet McDermott, Head of Membership, Women's Aid, Karen Ingala Smith, Chief Executive, nia, Diana James, Volunteer, Cornwall Refuge Trust Women’s Refuge & Norda House Men’s Refuge
Oral Evidence
8 May 2019
Inquiry Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the EHRC inquiry
Witnesses Melanie Field, Executive Director, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Stephen Lodge, Senior Principal Lawyer, Equality and Human Rights Commission
Oral Evidence
Fawcett Society (EEA0271)
Sam Walker (EEA0257)
Vikki Barnard (EEA0253)

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  • Email: womeqcom@parliament.uk
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  • Address: Committee Office, House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, SW1A 0AA