Single equalities watchdog proposed

16 May 02
The government is to draw up proposals for a single body to police all forms of discrimination in what has been hailed as the biggest shake-up in equalities' policy for 25 years.

17 May 2002

Cabinet Office minister Barbara Roche said she would be leading a project team to consider models for a single equalities watchdog. 'We cannot have six commissions dealing with six separate strands,' she said on May 15.

The move will spell the end of such bodies as the Equal Opportunities Commission and was announced as the Commission for Racial Equality was celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Proposals are expected to be published within six months but Roche confirmed that the legislation to create the new body will not appear in this Parliament.

A single equality body has been widely trailed, with campaigners arguing that it would provide a one-stop shop to deal with discrimination on race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion and disability grounds.

Roche said: 'We need to go beyond a focus on equal pay. We need to look at how we manage culture change and diversity.'


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