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The Developing Framework The Legislative Framework in Scotland The Civil and Human Rights Agenda The Human Rights Act 1998 The Equality Bill The proposed Commission for Equality and Human Rights Relevant provisions in general employment provisions – key areas

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The UK Context

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the uk context
The Developing Framework

The Legislative Framework in Scotland

The Civil and Human Rights Agenda

The Human Rights Act 1998

The Equality Bill

The proposed Commission for Equality and Human Rights

Relevant provisions in general employment provisions – key areas

Maternity, paternity and parental leave


Working time

Protecting the health of workers

The UK Context

Legislating for Equality

1 the legislative framework in scotland
1.The Legislative Framework in Scotland
  • Defines ‘equal opportunities’ as:
    • “the prevention, elimination or regulation of discrimination […] on grounds of sex or marital status, on racial grounds, or on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation, language or social origin, or of other personal attributes, including beliefs or opinions, such as religious beliefs or political opinions.”

The Scotland Act 1998 – Schedule 5

Legislating for Equality

the scotland act 1998 schedule 5
The Scotland Act 1998 – Schedule 5
  • Matters that may be undertaken by the Scottish Executive:
    • the encouragement (other than by prohibition or regulation) of equal opportunities;
    • the imposition of duties on any office holder in the Scottish administration, or any public authority, to make arrangements with a view to ensuring that their functions are carried out with due regard to the need to meet the equal opportunities requirements.

Legislating for Equality


Local Government in Scotland Act 2003

  • To enable the delivery of public services which better meet the expectations of those who pay for / use them.

Provisions included on:

Best Value within local authorities;provisions on local authority trading powers; the Community Planning process; the promotion and improvement of well-being.impact most directly on local authorities but particular aspects of the Act also relate to certain other public bodies;Section 59 places a duty on key bodies to carry out their functions in a way which encourages equal opportunities and observes equal opportunity requirements.

Legislating for Equality

religious prejudice and offences
Religious Prejudice and Offences
  • The Criminal Justice Act (Scotland) 2003 includes provisions to deal with offences that are aggravated by religious prejudice. Religious prejudice includes sectarian prejudice.
  • An offence is aggravated by religious prejudice not just on the basis of actual religious belief but on the accused's perception of the religious, social, or cultural affiliation of the individual or group targeted by the offender.
  • Courts will consider whether any element of religious prejudice is involved in an offence and if a court finds that the offence has been aggravated by religious prejudice it will take that factor into account

Legislating for Equality

2 the civil and human rights agenda
Data Protection Act 1998

Human Rights Act 1998

Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004

Protection from Harassment Act 1997

Children Act 2004

Civil Partnerships Act 2004

Domestic Violence, Crime & Victims Act 2004

Gender Recognition Act 2004

Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 ( England & Wales)

Equality Act 2006)

Key implications:

will extend new rights to groups; and/or

establish new Commissioners to address the interests of these groups

all will impact on / impose new responsibilities on local government

provisions likely to interact with human rights legislation

brings together the human rights, civil rights and equalities agendas.

2.The Civil and Human Rights Agenda

Legislating for Equality

3 the human rights act 1998
So far as it is possible to do so, primary legislation and subordinate legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the Convention

Article 14: Prohibition of discrimination: The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status

3.The Human Rights Act 1998

Legislating for Equality

Main provisions came into force 2nd October 2000

Gives further effect to rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights Range of legal challenges via the Courts.

Section 6 (1):

makes it unlawful for a public authority to act in a way that is incompatible with a Convention Right

includes acts taken;

includes acts not taken that should have been (section 6 (6))

Public authorities must act in a way which gives positive effect to their positive Convention obligations (Section 6)

A court or tribunal determining a question which has arisen in connection with a Convention right must take into account relevant decisions taken by courts and any judgment, decision, declaration or advisory opinion of the European Court of Human Rights.

Scotland Act 1998 requires the Scottish Parliament to act in accordance with the Convention.

Legislating for Equality