The Equality Bill has now passed through the House of Commons and has entered the House of Lords. The second reading of the Bill in the House of Lords took place on 15 December 2009 and the Bill is scheduled to enter the Committee Stage on 11 January 2010.
The Bill includes the following key proposals:
- Secrecy pay clauses in contracts of employment will be limited;
- Positive action to be allowed during recruitment when faced with two equal candidates;
- Employers with over 250 staff may be forced to publish information about differences in pay between the sexes;
- Discrimination by association to be made unlawful by statute;
- Harmonising the definition of indirect discrimination across all strands of discrimination;
- Dual discrimination claims will be permitted;
- Comparator test for Disability-related discrimination will be altered; and
- Test for pregnancy and maternity discrimination will be altered so that a woman must show that she has been treated 'unfavourably'.
The Bill is expected to come into force in October 2010.