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30 January 2017

Fawcett Review of Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay laws

The Fawcett Society has today launched a major review of the UK’s sex discrimination laws in response to the risk that long-established rights could be eroded or weakened as a result of Brexit and the UK leaving the EU single market. 
The review will also consider the effectiveness of the current laws and how best to balance the rights of the individual with the responsibilities of the organisation.
The review will be headed by Dame Laura Cox DBE a retired High Court Justice and co-ordinated by equality law expert Gay Moon. Panel members include a number of leading QCs and equality law experts. The review is set to last for approximately 9 months and will report in the autumn.
Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society said
“The Prime Minister has made the welcome commitment that she wants the UK to be a fairer place, that she will not only protect workers’ rights but build on them. We share that goal. We have an ambitious vision, to make the UK the best place to be a woman.”
“But to achieve that we need to create a legislative framework fit for the 21st century. One that genuinely protects the rights of the individual – rights that they can exercise by giving them access to justice – and promotes equality.
“The PM has also made clear that if necessary she will take the UK down a low tax low regulation path. That can only mean us turning the clock back on women’s rights and we cannot allow that to happen.”
The Review will consider the effectiveness of the law to date in addressing gender inequality, including access to justice. It will also identify gaps in protections for women and recommend how those gaps could be addressed. 
Well done Fawcett, but - why do we have an Equality and Human Rights Commission? Surely a review of the legislation falls fairly and squarely within the remit of the Commission? 
Find out more about the Sex Discrimination Law Review and how you can submit evidence here.

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