Government papers: Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission


The approach to enforcement of equality law is no longer fit for purpose, according to this report from the Women and Equalities Committee.

The report found that relying on individuals to report wrongdoing is ineffective and must be replaced by a new approach which provides a sustainable deterrent and tackles institutional and systemic discrimination.

The report’s main recommendations are:

  • Develop a ‘critical mass’ of cases to inform employers and organisations about their legal duties and make adherence to existing equality law a priority for all organisations.
  • Make obligations on employers, public authorities, and service providers explicit and enforceable.
  • Ensure that all who have powers to change the way in which employers, public bodies and service providers operate use their powers to eliminate discrimination and to advance equality.
  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission must refocus its work and be bolder in using its unique enforcement powers.