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Equality Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:39 am on 9th June 2009.

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William Fittall: There are two answers to that. First, I do not think that the example of youth workers given in the explanatory notes is correct. I do not believe that the provision, as drafted, would prevent Churches or other religious organisations from applying requirements to youth workers, because youth workers have a very important teaching role. There is a misunderstanding there. One of our difficulties is that this has appeared without any discussion with any of us on the panel.

On the second point, it is always difficult when people come into positions for which there is a requirement. Sometimes people are required to be of a particular faith but lose their faith when they are in the job. You face difficult pastoral situations there, but if there is a requirement that you have to be an Anglican or a Catholic, or one that refers to a person’s personal life, we would contend that you have to have the ability to impose those—both at recruitment and when someone is in post.