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Section 3 Equality Act 2006 about to be repealed - Take action - Email your MP before 16th April 2013 - #saves3

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John
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Professor Sir Bob Hepple QC talks about Section 3 click here for Youtube video.<

from PCS

Help protect equality law - email your MP now<

 

The government is planning to abolish fundamental equality law on Tuesday 16 April but you can help preserve it.<

Under threat is the general equality duty which lays out the fundamental principles society should strive for.

Use our e-action< to ask your MP to support a House of Lords amendment to stop the repeal of section 3 of the Equality Act 2006 when the bill returns to parliament. 

Our e-action< also has a link (once you enter your postcode) to a video of professor Bob Hepple QC, an expert in equality law, explaining why the general equality duty is so vital.

Sign it and send to your friends and colleagues today.<

Let's build on earlier success

The e-action we ran in March< helped rally significant support  for the Lords amendment, with more than 17,000 emails sent in a few hours.

Many peers called PCS to congratulate us and commented that they had never heard so many conversations about the EHRC and the Equality Act in and out of the chamber.

If you're on Twitter you can also help get the link out there using the #saves3 hashtag< or add a link to our action on your Facebook page.

Please email your MP today: www.pcs.org.uk/saves3 <

 

Equality victory in the Lords<

 

Our members helped to pull off a stunning win to save the general equality duty, which provides the fundamental principles that society should strive for.<

The House of Lords voted by a majority of 51 to save the duty, and clarify the contribution that the Equality and Human Rights Commission should make towards those aims, last night.  

 

The stunning win - the 67th defeat in the Lords for the coalition government - saw 217 Lords vote to keep the general equality duty contained in section 3 of the Equality Act 2006, and just 166 vote with the coalition government to repeal it.    

Emergency action

Lords received emails from PCS members and equality supporters after an emergency email action was set up last Thursday evening. The function was taken down after just 18 hours as lords fed back that they were going to vote for the amendment and they were being overwhelmed by the support shown. 

The mobilisation of campaigners on the vote was part of an ongoing and long-standing campaign on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill that started with members responding to the government consultation in 2011 on the future of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. This was also successful, with a ratio of 6:1 respondents saying that section 3 should not be repealed, despite attempts by the right-wing press to smear all equality work. 

The campaign is far from over and the matter will soon go the House of Commons where MPs will have to vote on section 3. While the numbers are against us in the Commons, we will campaign harder than ever to get all the support we can for equality. 

Read the debate transcript.<

 

 

John
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You can read the debate on Hansard here<.

via PCS

Equality law 'ping-pong' continues<

18 April 2013

MPs voted on Tuesday to scrap crucial equality law, but the campaign is far from over.<

In the final stage of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill - known as the 'ping-pong' stage - issues are voted on in both Houses until some agreement is reached.

While the Lords voted to save the general equality duty - a legacy from the Stephen Lawrence murder case - MPs have sent the issue back to the Lords, voting instead to repeal it by 310 to 244 votes.

However, the fight isn't over and it's certainly not lost. We will continue to urge the Lords to support the campaign to save the general equality duty when they vote on Monday, which, in a highly poignant coincidence, will be 20 years to the day since Stephen Lawrence was murdered. 

In the meantime, we need to apply pressure to MPs in readiness for the issue hopefully being 'ping ponged' back to them. 

Take two minutes now to send the automated message to your MP now.  <

John
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From Hansard<

Jo Swinson: I would like to put on the record my thanks for your flexibility, Mr Deputy Speaker, in accepting the late tweak to the amendment that had been tabled earlier this morning in relation to Lords amendment 37 on the issue of caste. I shall come to that issue in a second or two.

We are returning to the discussion on the equality provisions of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which were debated in the other place yesterday. We have paid regard to the strong views and concerns that were expressed in that debate, and have tabled motions to respond to them.

As I have made clear in the course of our debates, the Government want a strong and effective Equality and Human Rights Commission. As part of that and to focus the EHRC on its core functions, we proposed the repeal of its power under section 3 of the Equality Act 2006, which is known more commonly as the general duty. However, in light of the clear views expressed in the other place, the Government have reconsidered our position and will not insist on our disagreement to Lords amendment 35. That will allow the general duty to remain in the 2006 Act. Although it is accepted by all that the duty has a symbolic rather than a practical effect, it is clear that considerable importance is attached to this overarching statement.

 

 

23 Apr 2013 : Column 789

We maintain that the commission’s monitoring and reporting should be carried out in respect of its core equality and human rights duties. The EHRC will continue to be required to monitor and report on changes in society, but, as has been agreed to in the Bill, that should relate to the areas that it is uniquely placed to influence and change: equality, diversity and human rights. For that reason, the motion is to disagree with Lords amendment 36. Instead, the EHRC will monitor its progress against the duties specified in sections 8 and 9 of the 2006 Act, and the form of that reporting will remain unchanged.

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