WEC proposes changes to enforcement of discrimination rights


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The Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) has published a report proposing changes to the way in which rights under the Equality Act 2010 are enforced. It proposes "shifting the burden of enforcement" from individuals to the EHRC and other enforcement bodies.

Recommendations include:

  • The EHRC should make greater use of its enforcement powers.
  • The EHRC should assess its enforcement policies and practices to ensure that the threshold for suspecting an unlawful at is no higher than required by the law.
  • A scheme should be introduced to indemnify the ECHRC against the risk of high costs for strategically important cases.
  • Each government department should be placed under a legal duty to ensure that enforcement bodies are using their powers to secure compliance with the Equality Act 2010 in the sector for which they are responsible.

The WEC report also recommends legislation to make exemplary damages aimed at punishing the wrongdoer, rather than compensating the individual, more widely available for discrimination claims. It also recommends the introduction of legislation to empower employment tribunals and county courts to made remedial orders that require organisational change and to make wider recommendations where this can support change.

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