According to the Labour Party website the Labour Party have achieved the following in their time in power:
Labour believes everyone is of equal worth and entitled to respect. Our vision is of a fair, inclusive society where there is opportunity for everyone regardless of gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, race, religion or belief.
Labour is the party of equality. From challenging disability discrimination and to tackling the pay gap, to fighting racism and introducing civil partnerships, Labour has been at the forefront of change. We have done more than any government in history to support opportunity for all. We should be proud of our record, but we recognise that there is more to do to attack prejudice and make sure everyone can make the most of their talents and get a fair chance.
The Equality Bill represents a radical shift in our approach to fighting unfairness and breathes fresh life into our equality agenda. It forms part of the government’s longstanding commitment to ensure legislation catches up with the aspirations of those trapped by persistent disadvantage.
* Introduced the National Minimum Wage – two thirds of the beneficiaries are women and it has played a substantial part in narrowing the gender pay gap.
* Established the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) to act as a strong, independent champion to tackle discrimination and promote equality.
* Strengthened the law to improve protection against disability discrimination in employment, and to improve access for disabled people to goods, services, facilities and premises.
* Widened and strengthened the Race Relations Act to include a positive duty on public bodies to promote good race relations and legislated for aggravated sentences for racially motivated crimes.
* Through the introduction of civil partnerships, Labour has for the first time given legal recognition to same-sex partners. Gay couples now have the same inheritance, pension and next-of-kin rights as married couples.
* Labour is the party of equality and diversity. We have the best record of any UK political party in terms of women’s representation. In Westminster we have 95 women MPs to the Tories’ 17 and the Lib Dems’ nine – more than three times the number of women MPs than the opposition put together. Labour has 13 Black and Asian MPs. The Tories have just two and the other parties have none.
New Labour, your Britain
* We will defend and enhance human rights: ensure that our common sense human rights legislation is properly understood and applied; combat myths and misreporting of the Human Rights Act; and consider further steps including a British Bill of Rights and Duties and a written constitution.
* We will work through the Office for Disability Issues, established by Labour, to ensure cross Government action to achieve substantive equality for disabled people by 2025.
* We will empower black and ethnic minority women to build cohesion within their communities and as a bridge between communities by encouraging black and ethnic minority women to become councillors.
Labour is introducing the new Equality Bill, which will:
* Unify and simplify the nine major pieces of existing equalities legislation.
* Impose a new Equality Duty on public bodies covering race, disability and gender, as now, but will be extended to pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, age and religion or belief.
* Increase transparency in the workplace: the government will expect employers in the private sector with over 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap. The Government’s intention is to enforce this in 2013 if insufficient progress has been made. The bill also bans pay secrecy clauses.
* Contain powers to outlaw unjustifiable age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities or services.
* Extend positive action in employment, political life and public appointments
Labour Party Equalities Policy :http://www.labour.org.uk/Equalities
I would be interested to hear both positive and negative views on Labour’s Equalities policies in the comments below?