Amendment will allow caste discrimination to be outlawed











Amendment will allow caste discrimination to be outlawed
The Equality Bill has completed the report stage in the House of Lords, resulting in the Government accepting an amendment allowing for the introduction, in the future, of measures to make caste discrimination unlawful. At the same time, the EHRC published a provisional timeline outlining when the different parts of the Equality Bill will have legal effect.

During the Equality Bill’s Report Stage in the House of Lords, the Government accepted an amendment to Clause 9, which defines what is meant by ‘race’, creating a power to add caste discrimination to the list of prohibited grounds. The caste system relates to the social stratification and social restrictions in the Indian subcontinent, in which social classes are defined by thousands of hereditary groups, often termed as jātis or castes.

As the Bill completed its report stage, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published an Equality Bill Timeline for the different parts of the Equality Bill to have legal effect, provided it passes all its Parliamentary stages before the general election. The Bill still needs to complete its third reading, followed by consideration of amendments, before gaining Royal Assent. The main employment and equal pay provisions will come into force in October 2010. Government guidance will be published in July 2010, along with an EHRC Code of Practice. Dates are subject to change where detailed regulations are awaited

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