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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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Andrew Copson: Obviously, we make use of the exemption in employment for our chief executive, for example, and for our funeral celebrants, who conduct non-religious funerals. As far as we are concerned, we are content that the provision gives us all the scope we need for genuine occupational requirements; we do not see it as a narrowing of the previous requirement. If it were a narrowing, however, we would support that. Our view, which you can see in the evidence from employment tribunals included in our submission, is that some religious organisations have been going well beyond what was allowed by the occupational requirement in the past. Although we would welcome a narrowing, we do not think that this is a narrowing, and we are content that it will let us do what we need to do on preferring non-religious people for a very limited number of posts.