This site is in beta mode while we add the remaining policies. To feedback or help, please get in touch!
In Progress
Strengthen the enforcement of equalities laws

We will strengthen the enforcement of equalities law – so that private landlords and businesses who deny people a service on the basis of ethnicity, religion or gender are properly investigated and prosecuted.

Our Verdict

The main piece of legislation on equality in the UK is the Equality Act 2010, which brought together more than 100 pieces of anti-discrimination legislation. The Equality Act is designed to protect against discrimination on the grounds of protected characteristics including age, disability, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. People can use employment tribunals or courts to enforce their right to not be discriminated against, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) also has enforcement powers.

In recent years, a number of inquiries by the Women and Equalities Committee have concluded that people struggle to enforce their rights under the Equality Act, and the effectiveness of the EHRC has also been brought into question.

This policy is a promise to strengthen the enforcement of equalities law, although it does not propose specific mechanisms for doing so.

The clearest sign of action has been the launch on 30 July 2018 of yet another inquiry by the Women and Equalities Committee. Under the Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the EHRC inquiry, the committee will investigate:

  • the processes by which individual cases can be brought under the Equality Act
  • the role of the EHRC as the enforcement body
  • whether there are other models of enforcement that could achieve more widespread compliance

The launch of an inquiry is no guarantee of legislative amendments or changes to enforcement processes, but it is evidence of an intention to address this policy issue.

Also in July 2018, the government published its response to a consultation on caste and equality law. It concluded that the way forward was to rely on emerging case-law rather than including caste as an aspect of race, as required under the Equality Act. To that end, a suitable legislative vehicle is being sought in order to repeal that duty.

We’re marking this as ‘in progress’. To move it to ‘done’ we’ll need to see that the concerns around enforcement which gave rise to the Women and Equalities Committee inquiry have been effectively tackled. Follow this policy for the latest developments.

Strengthen your knowledge, get the facts

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we track policies, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why or submit an edit.

Get involved!

Whether you are for or against this policy or just want to know more, it's never been easier to get involved and have your say. Try these for starters…

Join the discussion On this page, or Twitter, or Facebook. Democracy is better shared!
Follow this policy We'll send you email alerts every time something interesting happens.
Ask your MP Ask your MP to help you support or block this policy - write to them here.
Get the facts Sense about Science and Full Fact are great for evidence and fact checking.
Get ahead! The Simple Politics newsletter breaks it all down for you - before it happens!