New laws to protect against discrimination published

    The government today published new laws designed to protect
    people against discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief,
    writes Clare Jerrom.

    The new measures set out in the Equality Bill would make it
    unlawful for public authorities to discriminate or harass anyone in
    carrying out their functions.

    Home Office minister Fiona Mctaggart said: “These measures
    would ensure that peoples of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds will
    receive equal protection against discrimination.”

    She added that she was pleased that the new provisions also
    cover public functions as well as the provision of goods,
    facilities, services and premises.

    The measures would ban direct discrimination where a person, on
    grounds of religion or belief, is treated less favourably than
    another and indirect discrimination where a requirement, condition
    or practice has the effect of putting people of a particular
    religious belief at a disadvantage which cannot be justified.

    They should also prevent victimisation where someone is treated
    less favourably than others because, for example, they have
    complained of discrimination or have assisted someone else in their

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