Employment, equal opportunities and diversity: One for all
In its legislative programme for 2008-09, the Government has announced that it intends to make the law on discrimination simpler and easier to understand by "bringing together nine major pieces of legislation and around 100 other laws" and replacing them with a single Equality Act. A single Equality Act is obviously long overdue. Speaking about the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Equal Pay Act 1970 (Shields v Coomes (Holdings) ), Lord Denning said: "The pieces are all jumbled up together, in two boxes. One is labelled the Sex Discrimination Act 1975; the other, the Equal Pay Act 1970. You pick up a piece from one box and try to fit it in. It does not. So you try a piece from the other box. That does not fit either. In despair you take a look at the picture by the makers. It is a guide issued by the Home Office. Counsel on behalf of the Equal Opportunities Commission recommended paragraph 3.18 which he says will show the distinction between the two acts. Even that will not make you jump with joy. You will not find the missing pieces unless you are very discriminating."
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