Equality Bill [HL]—continued
Part 3—continued
        House of Lords

 

back to previous text

31     Pay equity plans

(1)    If, as a result of making the pay comparison required by section 29(4), it appears to a designated employer that there is a significant disparity between—
(a)    the pay levels of female workers; and
(b)    the pay levels of male workers;
    the employer must draw up, adopt and implement a pay equity plan.
(2)    A pay equity plan is a programme of action for the purpose of aligning the disparate pay levels of the groups of the female and male workers in question in such a way that the workers receiving the lower pay levels receive an increase in pay.
(3)    In considering whether a designated employer is required by subsection (1) to draw up a pay equity plan and, if so, what changes the plan needs to make in order to align pay levels, there is to be disregarded any variations between the pay levels of female and male workers—
(a)    to the extent that the employer is able to show that such variations (or any part of them) are due to any genuine material factor which is not the difference of sex; or
(b)    in any case where such variations are due to the application of an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice, to the extent that the employer is able to show that—
(i)    the provision, criterion or practice is objectively justified by a legitimate aim; and
(ii)    the means of achieving that aim are genuine, determining and proportionate.

32     Reviews and plans: procedure and implementation

(1)    Before commencing a workforce review, a designated employer must take reasonable steps to consult with the appropriate representatives of his workforce.
(2)    In drawing up or changing an employment equity plan or a pay equity plan—
(a)    a designated employer must attempt to reach agreement with the appropriate representatives of his workforce as to the content of the plan and its implementation; and
(b)    in attempting to reach such an agreement, both the employer and the representatives must have due regard to the need to promote—
(i)    equality of opportunity between persons who have, or have had, a disability and persons who do not, between persons of different racial groups and between men and women generally; and
(ii)    equal pay for men and women doing work of equal value.
(3)    A designated employer must, on request, make available to appropriate representatives of his workforce—
(a)    information as to the outcome of any workforce review in the form of a summary or collection of information so framed that it is not possible to ascertain information relating to any particular person; and
(b)    information as to the effects of implementing any employment equity plan or any pay equity plan adopted by him.
(4)    The information mentioned in subsection (3)(b) must be regularly updated.
(5)    The Secretary of State may by regulations impose such additional requirements relating to workforce reviews, employment equity plans and pay equity plans as he considers appropriate.
(6)    Regulations under subsection (5) may (amongst other things) make provision as to—
(a)    the form, content and extent of workforce reviews;
(b)    the manner of carrying out the pay comparisons required by section 29(4) and the factors to be taken into account;
(c)    the form and content of employment equity plans and the procedures to be followed in making or changing them;
(d)    the form and content of pay equity plans and the procedures to be followed in making or changing them;
(e)    the making, and effect, of agreements between employers and workforce representatives so as to facilitate the gradual introduction (over a period of time of such length as is reasonable in all the circumstances) of any increases in pay resulting from the implementation of a pay equity plan.
(7)    Before making regulations under subsection (6) the Secretary of State must consult the Commission and such other persons as he considers appropriate.

33     Reviews and plans: non-compliance and role of Central Arbitration Committee

(1)    A failure of a kind to which subsection (2) applies—
(a)    is not actionable as a breach of duty; but
(b)    may be taken into account by the Commission in exercising its functions under Parts 4 and 5 of this Act; and
(c)    may, if it appears relevant, be taken into account by a tribunal or court in any proceedings before it under Part 5 of this Act.
(2)    This subsection applies to any failure on the part of a designated employer—
(a)    to carry out a workforce review in accordance with section 29(1) and (2);
(b)    to draw up, adopt or implement an employment equity plan when required to so by section 30;
(c)    to make available to appropriate representatives of the workforce information about an employment equity plan or a pay equity plan in accordance with section 32(3) and (4);
(d)    to comply with an award made under subsection (4).
(3)    Where, in relation to a designated employer, any dispute concerning a pay equity plan exists or is anticipated (including a dispute as to whether or not the employer is required to draw up such a plan), all or any of the matters to which the dispute relates may be referred for settlement to the arbitration of the Central Arbitration Committee—
(a)    by the Commission; or
(b)    by the appropriate representatives of the workforce of the employer.
(4)    An arbitration award made by the Central Arbitration Committee may specify the pay equity plan to be adopted by the designated employer concerned and the period within which the employer must implement it.
(5)    In reaching a determination in any proceedings relating to workforce reviews, employment equity plans or pay equity plans, the tribunal, court or Central Arbitration Committee considering the matter must have regard to whether compliance with any obligations imposed by or under this Part would place a disproportionate burden on the employer.

Duties to facilitate access etc by disabled persons

34     Work-related matters: reasonable accommodation for disabled persons

(1)    This section applies where—
(a)    any provision, criterion or practice applied by or on behalf of a responsible person; or
(b)    any physical feature of premises occupied by a responsible person;
    places a particular qualifying person who is disabled at a particular disadvantage compared with persons who are not disabled.
(2)    The responsible person must take such steps as it is reasonable in the circumstances of the case for him to have to take to enable the particular qualifying person to have access to, or participate in, any work, opportunity or other benefit generally offered by the responsible person.
(3)    Nothing in this section imposes any duty on a responsible person in relation to a particular qualifying person if the responsible person does not know, and could not reasonably be expected to know that that particular person—
(a)    is or may be a qualifying person; or
(b)    has a disability and is likely to be affected in the way mentioned in subsection (1).
(4)    Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 3 make further provision in relation to the duties imposed by this section (including provision as to who are to be treated as responsible persons and qualifying persons).
(5)    This section imposes duties for the purpose of determining whether a responsible person has done an act which amounts to discrimination against a qualifying person on the ground of his disability and, accordingly—
(a)    a breach of such a duty is not actionable as such; but
(b)    may be taken into account by the Commission in exercising its functions under Parts 4 and 5 of this Act; and
(c)    may, if it appears relevant, be taken into account by a tribunal or court in any proceedings before it under Part 5 of this Act.
(6)    In this section, section 35 and section 36, “discrimination” means any act specified as unlawful in section 9.

35     Education matters: disabled persons not to be substantially disadvantaged

(1)    The body responsible for a school must take such steps as it is reasonable for it to have to take to ensure that—
(a)    in relation to the arrangements it makes for determining the admission of pupils to the school, disabled persons are not placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled; and
(b)    in relation to education and associated services provided by it for, or offered by it to, pupils at the school, disabled pupils are not placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with pupils who are not disabled.
(2)    The body responsible for a further or higher education establishment must take such steps as it is reasonable for it to have to take to ensure that—
(a)    in relation to the arrangements it makes for determining the admissions to the establishment, disabled persons are not placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled; and
(b)    in relation to student services it provides or offers, disabled students are not placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with students who are not disabled.
(3)    Part 3 of Schedule 3 makes further provision in relation to the duties imposed by this section.
(4)    This section imposes duties for the purpose of determining whether a responsible body has done an act which amounts to discrimination against a disabled person on the ground of his disability and, accordingly—
(a)    a breach of such a duty is not actionable as such; but
(b)    may be taken into account by the Commission in exercising its functions under Parts 4 and 5 of this Act; and
(c)    may, if it appears relevant, be taken into account by a tribunal or court in any proceedings before it under Part 5 of this Act.
(5)    References to—
(a)    a body responsible for a school are to be construed in accordance with—
(i)    paragraph 20 of Schedule 2 (in the case of a school in England and Wales); and
(ii)    paragraph 21 of that Schedule (in the case of a school in Scotland); and
(b)    a body responsible for a further or higher education establishment are to be construed in accordance with—
(i)    paragraph 22 of Schedule 2 (in the case of an establishment in England and Wales); and
(ii)    paragraph 23 of that Schedule (in the case of a institution in Scotland).

36     Goods, facilities and services: adjustments for disabled persons

(1)    This section applies to any person (“the provider”) who provides, in the United Kingdom, any goods, facilities or services which he provides, or is prepared to provide, to members of the public or a section of the public.
(2)    Where the provider has a practice, policy or procedure which makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled persons to make use of any goods, facilities or services which he provides he must take such steps as it is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for him to have to take in order to change that practice, policy or procedure so that it no longer has that effect.
(3)    Where a physical feature (such as one arising from the design or construction of a building or the approach or access to premises) makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled persons to make use of any goods, facilities or services, the provider must take such steps as it is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for him to have to take in order to—
(a)    remove the feature;
(b)    alter it so that it no longer has that effect;
(c)    provide a reasonable means of avoiding the feature; or
(d)    provide a reasonable alternative method of making the goods, facilities or services in question available to disabled persons.
(4)    Where an auxiliary aid or service (such as the provision of information on audio tape or of a sign language interpreter) would enable disabled persons to make use of any goods, facilities or services or would facilitate their use by such persons, the provider must take such steps as it is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for him to have to take in order to provide that auxiliary aid or service.
(5)    This section—
(a)    does not apply to such goods, facilities or services, or to such providers of goods, facilities or services, as may be prescribed; and
(b)    applies whether the goods, facilities or services are provided on payment or without payment.
(6)    Nothing in this section requires a provider of services to take any steps that would—
(a)    fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, facilities or services in question or the nature of his profession or occupation; or
(b)    cause him to incur expenditure exceeding the prescribed maximum.
(7)    Part 4 of Schedule 3 makes further provision in relation to the duties imposed by this section.
(8)    This section imposes duties for the purpose of determining whether a provider has done an act which amounts to discrimination against another person on the ground of his disability and, accordingly—
(a)    a breach of such a duty is not actionable as such; but
(b)    may be taken into account by the Commission in exercising its functions under Parts 4 and 5 of this Act; and
(c)    may, if it appears relevant, be taken into account by a tribunal or court in any proceedings before it under Part 5 of this Act.

37     Alterations to premises under leases

(1)    This section applies if—
(a)    premises are occupied by any person under a lease;
(b)    but for this section, the occupier would not be entitled to make a particular alteration to the premises; and
(c)    the alteration is one that the occupier proposes to make in order to comply with a duty imposed by section 34, 35 or 36.
(2)    If the terms and conditions of a lease—
(a)    impose conditions which are to apply if the occupier alters the premises; or
(b)    entitle the lessor to impose conditions when consenting to the occupier's altering the premises;
    the occupier is to be treated for the purposes of subsection (l)(b) as not being entitled to make the alteration.
(3)    The lease has effect, as a result of this subsection, as if it provided—
(a)    for the occupier to be entitled to make the alteration with the written consent of the lessor;
(b)    for the occupier to have to make a written application to the lessor for consent if it wishes to make the alteration;
(c)    if such an application is made, for the lessor not to withhold his consent unreasonably; and
(d)    for the lessor to be entitled to make his consent subject to reasonable conditions.
(4)    But subsection (3) does not apply to the extent that the lease expressly excludes it.
(5)    Regulations may make provision supplementing the provisions of this section (including provision for the reference of any matter to a tribunal).
(6)    Regulations under subsection (5) may include provision—
(a)    as to the circumstances in which any constraint attributable to the fact that premises are occupied under a lease may be ignored in proceedings against any person under Part 5;
(b)    as to the circumstances in which a lessor may be joined or sisted as a party in any such proceedings;
(c)    as to the powers of the court or tribunal in relation to any matter arising under this section (including any order it may make and effect of such an order);
(d)    as to the circumstances in which a lessor is to be taken to have withheld his consent unreasonably or acted unreasonably in withholding his consent;
(e)    as to the circumstances in which a condition subject to which a lessor has given his consent is to be taken to be reasonable;
(f)    as to the circumstances in which a condition subject to which a lessor has given his consent is to be taken to be unreasonable;
(g)    supplementing or modifying this section in its application to sub-leases and sub-tenancies.
(7)    In this section—
  “lease” includes a tenancy, sub-lease or sub-tenancy and an agreement for a lease, tenancy, sub-lease or sub-tenancy; and
  “sub-lease” and “sub-tenancy” have such meaning as may be prescribed.
 

 
previous section contents continue
 
House of Commons home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2003
Prepared 16 January 2003