Lone Parents: Equality

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 3rd March 2022.

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Photo of Yasmin Qureshi Yasmin Qureshi Labour, Bolton South East

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to make single parents the tenth protected characteristic to the Equality Act 2010.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch Minister for Equalities, Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (jointly with Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

We are clear that the Equality Act 2010, which provides protection against direct and indirect discrimination across a range of fields, including employment, service provision and housing, already offers some protection for single parents.

Given that significantly more women than men, and disproportionately more members of particular ethnic groups, have single parent responsibilities, employers in particular must ensure that their rules and practices which may affect single parents do not indirectly discriminate on grounds of sex or race. We continue to keep the effectiveness of the Act under review.

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