A newly released report of the Women and Equalities Committee of MPs into the enforcement of the Equality Act 2010 suggests that the current approach is outdated and needs to be changed. Currently the system relies upon individual victims initiating legal action and calls for a greater burden on employers (public authorities and service providers).
The report also suggests enhancing the powers of the Equality and Human Rights Commission to "be bolder" in using its enforcement powers.
Its an interesting idea, but difficult to see how it would actually work in practise. Any employee who has suffered discrimination at work will likely welcome an easier way to stop the conduct than having to bring an Employment Tribunal claim. But any reasonable employer who has been at the sharp end of a spurious claim from a former employee will be cautious about any changes to the system that would make it more difficult to rebut such claims.
Whether or not any changes are made, and what those changes ultimately look like, the Committee must be correct in its view that our culture is not yet at a point in which compliance with the Equality Act is the norm.
...a new system that put the onus on employers, public authorities and service providers to enforce the Equality Act, suggesting individuals should rarely need to challenge discrimination in courts.