I want to write to Baroness Thornton

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Equality Bill: Third Reading (23 Mar 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ...the disadvantage is caused by a physical feature, otherwise there was a risk that the intention to reproduce the current law, which we all share, might be put in doubt. The noble Baronesses, Lady Warsi and Lady Morris of Bolton, also tabled a probing amendment on these matters in Committee. When I spoke on Report I said that we wanted to give further consideration to the matter and, in...

Equality Bill: Third Reading (23 Mar 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ..., on how to improve it. I completely agree that importing the language at the outset from the DDA into this Bill has been extremely important. On the questions posed by the noble Baroness, Lady Warsi, the Equality and Human Rights Commission is currently consulting on draft guidance and the code of practice which will help employers to understand the requirements to make reasonable...

Equality Bill — Report (2 Mar 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ...negative comments about, for example, wearing religious dress. The amendment would build a hierarchy of equality into a duty. As this was much more adequately explained by the noble Baroness, Lady Warsi, I shall not go into the fact that Jews and Sikhs also will be covered. That has already been adequately covered in the debate. I hope noble Lords will agree that advancing equality of...

Equality Bill — Report (2 Mar 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ...that meeting. I take the point made by the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Harries, about the sense of disappointment at not putting caste in the Bill at this point. To the noble Baroness, Lady Warsi, I would say that at every stage of this Bill we have looked for evidence about discrimination. We now think that that evidence may exist, which is why we have commissioned the research....

Equality Bill — Report (2 Mar 2010)

Baroness Thornton: My Lords, Amendment 4 in the names of the noble Baronesses, Lady Warsi and Lady Morris, is a recurring amendment, which we debated in Committee on 11 January. It would make an addition to the provisions in Schedule 1 for some people who experience depression. It would apply only to a person who in the past five years has had a period of depression that has had a substantial adverse effect on...

Equality Bill: Committee (6th Day) (Continued) (9 Feb 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ...Regulatory Reform Committee for bringing these points to our attention. Although it has not been spoken to, I should like to comment on Amendment 136ZZA in the names of the noble Baronesses, Lady Warsi and Lady Morris, which seeks to probe why the provisions for the control of secondary legislation do not currently apply to an order which makes provision in consequence of the commencement...

Equality Bill — Committee (3rd Day) (19 Jan 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ...would be to widen, rather than to narrow, the circumstances in which this exception could be used-which was, I suspect, the noble Lord's intention and was mentioned by the noble Baroness, Lady Warsi. When drafting this exception, the wording was chosen very carefully. It is anticipated that the main purpose of this exception will be to enable a public health protection policy which allows...

Equality Bill — Committee (3rd Day) (19 Jan 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ...they were receiving less favourable treatment solely because a religious artefact or a copy of a holy book is on display in the place where the service is being provided. The noble Baroness, Lady Warsi, spoke with great wisdom about the top-shelf issue. I absolutely accept her point and the wider point about one size not fitting all. In a way, that is the whole point of this legislation...

Equality Bill — Committee (Continued) (2nd Day) (13 Jan 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ...for Children, Schools and Families has provided guidance for schools on dealing with racist, sexist, religious, homophobic and transphobic bullying, as mentioned by the noble Baroness, Lady Warsi. The guidance makes it very clear that a school must take all these forms of bullying seriously and that a failure to do so would mean that it would be vulnerable to discrimination claims. The...

Equality Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (13 Jan 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ...therefore that we ensure the new provisions in the Bill work and I welcome the opportunity to discuss this group of amendments. Amendments 43 and 44 in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Warsi, would remove the comparative from the first two requirements of the reasonable adjustment in Clause 20. The reasonable adjustment duty is triggered when the disabled person is at a substantial...

Equality Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (13 Jan 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ...true. We believe the Bill provides better protection for disabled people, and three elements of the duty and requirements do what is reasonable, as is required by the DDA. The noble Baroness, Lady Warsi, asked whether the duty for service providers is still anticipatory. As with the DDA currently, the duty of reasonable adjustment as it applies to those who provide services or public...

Equality Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (13 Jan 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ...people who share a protected characteristic is lawful now, and nothing in the Bill will prevent service providers from continuing to do it. Amendment 126, in the name of the noble Baronesses, Lady Warsi and Lady Morris, would write into the Bill exceptions from the ban on age discrimination for age-based holidays, financial services products for particular age groups and, where...

Equality Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (13 Jan 2010)

Baroness Thornton: The amendments in this group share a common purpose. However, I shall begin with Amendment 21, which has been proposed by the noble Baroness, Lady Warsi, and is much the same as one tabled by the Conservatives and debated in Committee in the other place. That earlier amendment differed from Amendment 21 only in that it would have replaced "because of" in the definition of direct...

Equality Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (13 Jan 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ...of meaning. We will be reinforcing this message in guidance and training for judges in the period leading up to commencement and beyond. On the specific issue raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Warsi, which was that the statement of intent in the Explanatory Notes was not sufficient, given litigation over the removal of "similar" in the definition of religion or belief, here the change is...

Equality Bill — Committee (1st Day) (Continued) (11 Jan 2010)

Baroness Thornton: ...comply with instructions to discriminate. There are other reasons why the Government resist the proposed new clause and Amendment 21A. I turn now to the question raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Warsi, about whether it would be better to have this in the Bill. The Bill refers to discrimination because of a protected characteristic, not because of the protected characteristic of the...


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