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New measures to tackle workplace discrimination announced

Public bodies are to be compelled to reveal what measures they are taking to close the gender pay gap and provide equal employment opportunities for disabled and ethnic minority people, under new legislation.
 
Equalities minister Harriet Harman announced the proposals last week, which is intended to combat workplace discrimination.
 
Although she had intended that the same laws would apply to private sector companies, Ms Harman was forced to water-down the measures after protests from business leaders.
 
Now, private companies will simply be under a voluntary obligation to be more open about their fair employment policies.
 
While she acknowledged concerns that the legislation may allow for discrimination against white men, the minister said: "You don't get progress if there isn't a bit of a push forward."
 
These proposals follow an earlier Commons select committee report which found that the gender pay gap remains at 40 per cent for women working part-time and called on the government to do more to address the issue.

"Of course any professional recruitment organisation is already bending over backwards to ensure total compliance with discrimination laws," say Yngve Traberg, CEO at ClickAJob.

"Clients quite rightly are averse to come-backs in the recruiting process, so any good recruiter will ensure everything not only meets legislative needs but also demonstrates the spirit of them."

"There's another upside too," he says

"Right now there's a world-wide skills shortage - and equal opportunity widens the opportunity for finding good, qualified professional people to fill important positions."

"It's not just addressing social injustice, it's solving business problems too," he concludes.

30-06-2008