The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill received Royal Assent on 25 April 2013, following the House of Lords vote against removal of the EHRC’s general duty and in favour of caste protection.
In a ping-pong session on 22 April 2013, the House of Lords voted against the repeal of Section 3 of the Equality Act 2006 (covering the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s general duty) and also voted in favour of making caste a protected characteristic (as an aspect of race) under equality legislation through a new clause in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.
On 23 April, Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna, tweeted that ‘Equalities Minister Jo Swinson has notified me that the Govt is u-turning on it move to repeal the EHRC’s general duty’.
The BBC reported that ‘Caste discrimination is to be outlawed in the UK, Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced in what is a U-turn on previous government policy’.
Click here for debate on Hansard (22 April)
Click here for link to Chuka Umunna’s tweet (23 April)
Click here for report on the BBC website (23 April)
Click here for announcement on the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills website (25 April)
Click here for further information about the Bill and links to EDF briefings