By Claire West
The Equality Act could be delayed after the coalition government removes implementation date from its website. Suspicions have been raised over when the Equality Act will be introduced after the Government Equalities Office removed the October 2010 date for implementation from its website.
The Equality Act received Royal Assent on 8 April and the bulk of the legislation was due to be put in place in October.
No longer displaying that date, the website states: “The provisions in the Equality Act will come into force at different times to allow time for the people and organisations affected by the new laws to carefully prepare for them.” An announcement on scheduling for implementation of the Equality Act will be made in due course.
There is no time restriction on a government to implement an Act after it had received Royal Assent, but Gallant2000 are astounded that the date had been withdrawn. At the moment employers are getting ready to operate with the new Act in force, so if it gets delayed it would lead to a lot of undoing of work.
The coalition government could, potentially, delay the execution of the Act indefinitely, simply by not making commencement orders. However, text in the factsheet suggests that the government recognises the positive benefits of the Act and it will presumably bring it into effect in the not-too-distant future.
The public sector equality duty, social economic duty and combined discrimination were due to come into effect in April 2011, while the ban on age discrimination in the provision of goods and services and public functions was due to be implemented in 2012. Gender pay gap reporting was set to be introduced in 2013 if not enough progress had been made voluntarily.