The Equality Bill has now completed its committee stage in the House of Commons. Among the amendments being considered is a measure to restrict the use of pre-employment health questionnaires, so that disabled applicants are not disadvantaged at the pre-interview stage. It is also possible that representative (or group) actions may be allowed for certain types of claims in the employment tribunal.

Over the summer two consultation papers were published that are of particular interest to employers. Equality Bill: making it work, issued by the Government Equalities Office in June, invites views on its new approach to public sector equality duties, which emphasises the importance of identifying priorities for action. The Equality and Human Rights Commission's paper looks at the ways in which private sector organisations can increase their pay transparency in order to play their part in closing the gender pay gap. If sufficient progress is not made on a voluntary basis by 2011, the Bill gives the Government power to introduce regulations compelling private sector employers to publish gender pay statistics.

For the GEO consultation click here.

For the EHRC consultation click here.