I read an article on the Good Men Project website about protests in Paris over equal marriage for same-sex couples.
I can’t understand why there should not be same-sex marriage. Surely it’s not the state’s businesses to tell any two people capable of giving informed consent what should and should not happen between them in any case?
If the state is going to have a system of marriage it should not discriminate against anyone. One citizen’s lifestyle choice should not have priority over another’s. If a church wants to recognise a marriage as ‘Holy’ it is down to them to apply these labels. But there should not be any legal basis for recognising their religious views on marriage above any other membership organisation that has customs and traditions that the state should not interfere with.
Whilst under EU law churches are not allowed to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation in terms of who can be a member of the church and the goods and services provided to them, it is possible for them to not recognise a state marriage as a marriage in the eyes of their ‘god.’
The right of members of a church to form a group that consists solely of people that are heterosexual is protected by Section 10 of the Equality Act 2006.
On this basis a church could give a group of heterosexuals the power to recognise a state marriage as one that exists in the eyes of their ‘god,’ as per Section 10 of the Equality Act 2006.
So essentially I agree with my best friend Mark, which is that the church should be separate from the state, and there should be a single state marriage which religions could recognise if they chose to. As he put it; when one gets married in a church that recognises one’s lifestyle choices in terms of a civil union, it should simply involve signing two forms – one for the state, and the second for the church.
I’ve wanted 2012 to be my best year ever, and so far it is. Along the journey this year I have had to deal with civil servant after civil servant, and I now hold some legal prejudices about them:
- They will not do what is in the public interest, but what is most expedient for them
- They don’t have initiative and will do anything to get out of doing more work or thinking creatively
- They care more about increasing their salary and pension than help out of poverty those they have power over
- They will go to extreme lengths to deny members of the public a benefit or make them subject to a detriment
- They will sooner treat a member of the public with a complaint as a ‘trouble maker’ than a individual who needs help.
I’m sure you’ll have come across a number of civil servants who are like this. They are in my view an embodiment of the ‘computer says no’ sketch on Little Britain. I have even set up a website that invites people to expose them.
Being an employer I always want the best person for the job. While it is not illegal to discriminate against former civil servants, I thought I’d see what would happen if I put myself in the position of the people who have discrimianted against me as someone with a ‘protected characterstic’.
I want the best person for the job. If I get the CV for someone who worked in the civil service at Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council I might immediately think they have all the attributes in the list above, and more likely then not I would probably be right. But believing this to be the case without evidence is prejudice. Denying them a job solely based on this prejudice is discrimination – though in the case of civil servants it is not illegal.
If I were to ask them at an interview whether they had those characteristics, even if they did they would likely deny it, or use their well toned skills as subterfuge to avoid answering the question. But unless I was able to prove they were lying, it would be clear discrimination to deny them them job, even if it was not illegal.
These are some untrue reasons given to me for not being given a job which were based on prejudice and therefore amount to discrimination:
- Newport University; “You say you want to do a PhD, so clearly can’t want to do the routine duties with video editing” – I had Asperger syndrome and a degree in multimedia – that was my life!
- The Labour Party; “You have Asperger syndrome and lack communication and team working skills and would be no good on Question Time” – Within 5 years of that time I have become a successful social entrepreneur and Internet trolling expert and proved that prejudice wrong, and now I can speak without notes, which I see most Labour politicians including Ed Miliband find it difficult to. It is really amusing watching these people and knowing I am more skilled than them – through practice, practice, practice!
- An unnamed university: “You are a vulnerable adult with Aspergers, so clearly you can’t teach and we need your medical records to check whether you can before letting you, even if you use a support worker” – Within a year of this I was delivering speeches without notes as above.
So, my opinion is now this. If an employer gives a reason why someone should not get the job, which is not based on any evidence they have, as opposed to don’t have, then that should be a clear case of discrimination. Any ‘reservations’ an employer or similar has about why someone may not be up to the job should not be valid forms of dismissing someone’s application if there is no evidence to support them.
So on this basis if I declined an application because I thought a civil servant met one of those criteria and in fact they didn’t then that would be discrimination – although not illegal. I therefore think that if employers or similiar have any concerns about someone that might make them think they are not the “best person for the job” when they could be, they should be made to test the competencies they have concerns about.
In the case of my discrimiantions above this might be:
- Newport University; To have asked me, and other applicants, to have done 2 hours and video editing and seen how we enjoyed it. When I applied for a job at Barry College, they did something similar by making me take a programming test in the library to ensure I was comfortable around the students.
- The Labour Party; To have asked me to deliver presentations to branch or constituency meetings, or get involved in chairing a party conference session.
- An unnamed university; To have given me the chance to have delivered a lesson in front of a live class. A colleague who became the art teacher at Hawthorn High School did this, as did my sister-in-law when she applied to a school.
So in the case of the civil servants, I might use ‘dead-zones’. These are the time periods before and after an interview where employers set up circumstances to see if the employee will fit in. So it could be used to see whether they have the initiative or concern for others that one might want. For some reason, most of the dead-zones I have been in people ask “do you drive” or “how did you get here”, which could land them up in Court, because I have epilepsy, yet have funding from Access 2 Work to help me get to work where it is difficult.
So in essence my view is that any employer or similar who denies someone a position for a reason based on prejudice and not evidence should be considered to have committed discrimination. It says in the Equality Act 2010 that if an employer does not know someone is disabled then they can’t be liable. In my view, regardless of whether the employer knows, if they deny someone a position for a reason that is a symptom of their disability then they should face the most severe penalty under the law. Equally, there should be a strong case for discrimination if the reason someone is turned down is for a reason that is false, even if the employer or similar thinks it is true.
So the question we need to ask is that would it be better to have ‘honest references’ rather than ‘good ones’? Would it not make sense that if an employer has reservations about an applicant that they be allowed to contact their referees to see if this is true? If it were the case that a referee who misled an employer was open to legal action for any loss then they would give truthful references. The only trouble is there would have to be measures to prevent ‘fishing expeditions’ where someone may ask a referee a series of questions to make it easier to eliminate a candidate they have prejudices against rather than seek to include them by having concerns refuted.
There has been a report out by a charity on making sizeist abuse, like calling someone “fat” a hate crime, and there have even been calls to amend the Equality Act 2010, which comes from European Union Law.
The issue has come to prominence following the flame trolling of Aberdare teenager, Georgia Davis following the revelation she had to be broken out of her house because she weighed 400 kilograms.
I would say the Equality Act 2010 is more than capable of tackling abuse based on size, such as that against Georgia.
- Where someone has a medical condition relating to size, such as anorexia or obesity, this is protected by the characteristic, ‘disability’;
- Where someone is pregnant and is called ‘fat’, or called so after childbirth, this is protected by the characteristic ‘pregnancy/maternity’;
- All too often people are called fat followed by a reference to another characteristic, such as age, sex, race, sexual orientation. And persons are protected by the latter characteristic they have. Examples include:
- “fat bitch” – grounds of sex
- “fat old git” – grounds of age
Even if the Equality Act 2010 isn’t strong enough as it stands, primary legislation should not be needed. All that would be need to be done is an amendment of the Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010.
Being a reader of Nuts Magazine, anyone over a size 10 is ‘fat’ in my mind. For someone who is a workaholic and study-a-holic like me that is a good thing, as it keeps one single, yet happy, because one knows there is no one out there good enough. Even though I know the women look nothing like they do in Nuts Magazine – if anything they have bones sticking out which are Photoshopped out rather than excess weight – tricking my mind into wanting unrealisable perfection keeps me sane while single!
Many will have heard of the debate between the social model of disability and the medical model of disability. These two polarised viewpoints make up the first and second ways of inclusion. The first way – the medical model – assumes that anyone who is not perfectly healthy nor perfectly able should meet a defined medical condition in order to received assistance. This medical condition is their disability. The second way – the social model – assumes that anyone who is not perfectly healthy nor perfectly able has an impairment, which is only a disability if it is not accommodated for by others as if they accepted it there would be no impairment. There is a third way also – the recovery model – this assumes that anyone who is not perfectly healthy or perfectly able must be helped by others to overcome the impairment that comes from an identifiable medical condition so that they are not disabled by it. None of these ways are satisfactory to me, so by using the Fourth Way process I think it is possible to take the best of the first and second ways and eliminate the third. The fourth way – the pluralist model – would assume that anyone who is not perfectly healthy or perfectly able is a human being with a distinct personality derived from those imperfections. In some environments those imperfections will be advantageous and in others they will be impairments. Under this model both the person with the medical condition and the people around them have to weigh up factors around whether the environment needs to change to the person or the person needs to change their environment. This is best decided with the ‘reasonable adjustment’ instrument. If it is reasonably possible to change the environment to accommodate the persons impairment then it should be done, but if it is not reasonably possible then that person will have to decide whether they want to stay in the environment and mitigate that impairment with support, or whether they want to go to an environment where that medical condition gives them a strength so they have no impairment.
The Net Generation, called N-Geners, are roughly the group of people born between 1977 and 1997 for whom the use of technology formed a core part of their early years and significantly later in life.
Under the Equality Act 2006, using the definition of age in the Equality Act 2010, N-Geners could agree to form a collective identity as a ‘group’ and any ‘belief’ they then hold which affects the way they live their life as a group is protected, under the Equality Act 2010.
So take some cultural things that are part of the Net Generation. To most N-Geners I know, and I’m one, the term ‘gay’ does not mean someone who is homosexual, like it does to Generation X, but it means someone or something that is ‘eccentric’, ‘out-of-place’ (e.g. a man wearing a dress), ‘untouchably desirable’, ‘self-admiring’, or ‘outrageous’ for example. To the Baby Boomers, ‘gay’ meant ‘happy’ as most people know, but to the generations before them it meant ‘showy’, as in couples who held hands in public, or men who showed off their muscular chests.
So to N-Geners, a gay wedding could equally be one between a man and a woman, if it is eccentric in some way, such as by them dressing as princes and princesses and getting married in a Disney World castle, or, as they do in South Wales, at Castell Coch – the fairy-tale castle near Cardiff. To N-Geners the relationship between Benvolio and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet was ‘gay’ because they had a close friendship, which whilst plutonic, was the closeness one would see in a more romantic relationship.
So if Jeremy Clarkson wants to say a car is ‘gay’ because it is pink, then to my generation it is acceptable, as cars are generally more revered by men, the colour pink more revered by women, so have a pink car would seem “out-of-place”. I don’t think N-Geners should be bossed around by the bigoted Generation Xers, who are not willing to change with the times and see the word ‘gay’ has meaning beyond its association with sexual orientations.
Pantomime Dames are “gay” to most persons, because they are “eccentric”, and they are “showy”, as men, about their ‘sexual orientation’ towards men.
So to translate some words into N-Gen:
‘gay-marriage’ is not the same as ‘same-sex marriage’. A “gay” marriage would be flamboyant, whereas a “same sex” marriage could be more conservative.
‘Gay (person)’ is not the same as ‘homosexual (person)’. A gay person could be Kylie who is “untouchably desirable”. So could Peter Andre in his ‘Mysterious Girl’ song be gay, for the same reason. A heterosexual man wearing a pink t-shirt could be gay, as could a woman who talks more about cars than fashion. Furthermore, someone who always boasts about themselves in a near-narcissistic kind of way would be gay.
So my message to Generation X- WAKE UP YOU BIGOTS. It is not all about you and your values. Don’t call us homophobic because we don’t share your prejudices about the word gay, which is often only used by your generation in a less than favourable way, if indeed you are being homophobic – we are not!
There are a lot of anti-immigration stories in the Daily Mail, popularising the view of people on the right of the Conservative Party over the more progressive ones like Ken Clarke.
It is is my view that EU Law should change so that EU Citizens have their social aid entitlements paid by the Member State of which they are a national and not the one in which they reside.
I strongly feel that so long as I keep paying my Class 2 National Insurance that I should be able to move to Belgium and keep the support I need, such as Disability Living Allowance (or Personal Independent Payment as appropriate) and the Access to Work funding I have to give me a support worker to overcome my disabilities as well as subside ‘Bupa International’ so I can get the help I currently get from the NHSand Social Services.
If the UK Government think it is wrong that EU nationals claim benefits here, do they think it not wrong the Belgian authorities would have to pay for my welfare while I’m there? – Assuming I pass the same degrading assessments I have had to in the UK!
Let me give you a reason why the Immigration Minister, Damien Green, whom I perceive as biased and therefore who I perceive as unprofessional and therefore who I perceive as a bigot, might what to change the system.
I bought a copy of the Big Issue several minutes ago in Cardiff Queen Street. It was sold by someone called Alex (Seller number 254). On probing him with questions, he said he had moved to the UK from Hungary to live with a friend who worked in a hotel and to sell the Big Issue afterwards when his friend stopped supporting him. This resembled a recurring story in the Daily Mail which I felt discomforting to see in reality.
I am generally pro-economic immigration. In fact I am receiving advice from my local university to give a student from Uganda studying there work experience in journal paper writing, which will not only help him in his career, but me in mine also.
As a Master of Economic and Social Science, I share the more vernacularly presented concerns of the UK public that the opportunity costs of allowing people from elsewhere in the EU to sell the Big Issue, means there is a homeless person that is a UK National going without help.
As a Master of Laws in EU Law, the UK Government may wish to note that EU Directives are directed at Member States and their organs of the state and have direct effect on them, but there is nothing stopping the UK Government extending the provisions of a Directive to give UK businesses more rights and less red tape. The only considering is that if this falls within Article 34 (i.e. discriminates against other EU Nationals or Undertakings), that it is also covered by the ‘rule of reason’.
Such a provision could include making sure that the consumer interest is protected, so they have enough information about who they are buying Big Issues from or other services under the Services Directive, so that it supports their belief-system about who they want to buy from, which is protected by the Equality Act 2010 that implements and extends EU Directives on equality. This may mean the Big Issue will decide to only offer those persons for which there is a market demand to sell the Big Issue based on consumer preferences and supply and demand figures of the most successful sellers so that the scheme gets its maximum benefit for homeless people.
Today David Cameron spoke about the problem of absent fathers. This makes a change from the usual Tory rhetoric of attacking single mothers.
I would like to have children, or a child, as a decedent who can take up my family’s tradition of being a Freeman of Llantrisant (in the case of a boy) or pass it onto their husband (if a girl). I would even fight for their right to this if in the case of a boy they had a male partner.
But, if I have children, I am not going to let any opportunist neo-feminist take them off me and deny them their chance to have the perfect male role model. If I have children they will be my flesh and blood and there is no way I am going to let anyone deny me access to them – no one.
So because I am not one of the easiest people to live with, I think I should accept that if I have children with a female partner, however much she says she loves me, there is a good chance they will get taken off me, as I don’t have the competencies to raise them on my own. If you assume that a child would ideally have a stable relationship for at least the first 16 years of a child life – I don’t think someone could put up with me for that long! Therefore, in order to avoid any harm to my children I should not need a partner to have them, who might turn out to be a DNA Thief.
So, as far as I can see, the only chance to have a dependent and not lose them to a DNA thief is as follows-
1. I have a child via a surrogate mother.
-If same-sex couples can, why can’t I and remain a bachelor?
2. Have the child looked after by foster parents near to where I live and keep regular contact with them.
- If rich people can send their children to boarding school or the Courts can force fathers to only see their children at weekends because state endorsed DNA thieves get a monopoly on raising them, why can’t I outsource my childcare to a family who already have children and the experience of raising them?
- Surrogate parents get paid and monitored by the local authoirty. Those parents would have a financial incentive to stay together, and my children would have a better upbringing that they otherwise would as they would have the stability of two parents and me as a role model at the same time.
- So on that basis, if women can’t hold down a relationship with me, why should I deny my children a stable up-bringing and the chance to have me as a role model in a stable environment?
The Equality Act 2010 makes marriage a protected characteristic. So I should have the right to not get to married. The Human Rights Act 1998 gives me a right to found a family and the right not to associate with those I don’t want. Also, on top of this, the case of R v R means there is no legitimate expectation for a relationship between two people to be a sexual relationship. Therefore, taking the two together the right to found a family should not be based on the requirement of a sexual relationship. Therefore I should be able to have a child without having a partner in order to create them, who may be a neo-feminist who turns out to be a DNA Thief.
There are so many neo-feminists who murder potential children in the name of ‘choice’. Therefore, I should not have to take a risk of being with such a fetus-killing-feminist. If they want control over their body then want control over my sperm! Why can’t I be pro-choice and pro-life at the same time, just because I’m not willing to have a child with a potential DNA thief, and don’t have the ability to be a single-dad? I should be allowed to become a become a distance dad who is the perfect role model instead of being put in a position where I could be forced to be a absent father.
I just had a paper accepted for a conference paper called “Mum’s the WordPress: A comparision of political and mommy bloggers”, didn’t talk much about microblogging, but discovered some of the problems in an interaction with Iain Dale earlier today. I wonder ‘tele-autism’ is manifested greater in microblogging, where offence is easier to occur between people because of the communication restrictions similar to what I as a person with High Functioning Autism experiences elsewhere in public life.
Iain Dale is one of the most respected political bloggers on the Internet. In 2007 he ranked me No 88 in the Top 100 Labour Bloggers. For someone in politics to give me such high regard, means he must be a pretty decent person, looking beyond how as a Labour Party member I was an “outlier” and not typical of the norm.
However, I was slightly shocked today. On Twitter, he called a presenter of Britain’s Got Talent a word meaning phallus beginning with “d” for not letting through a group of black people and instead letting through a “pub singing poodle”. -As much as I would agree with his dissent if the decision was based on race, even indirectly because the person didn’t like ‘Black Music’.
I have been arguing for universities to have quotas for Black people based on the numbers in society, and for international students not to count against this quota. Many Black people in this country don’t “make the grade” for university due not to lack of ability, but a biased exam system.
Black music is not always done by Black people, as Eminem shows, but just because someone is of a generation that doesn’t like this, as Iain was alluding to, someone should not be rejected from a competition because the judge doesn’t like their music which is typical of their race. Equally someone shouldn’t be derided because their nationality is different from the country they are in, as Iain later presented, just because they were picked by a possibly racist judge – two wrongs don’t make a right.
As I said to Iain; that under the Communications Act 2003 it is illegal to send an offensive message via a communications service. As a public figure, and someone who I respect as one of the most knowledgeable people in politics (perhaps why he is not in government), I expected better. The Equality Act 2010 protects people from direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of race, whether against someone who is Black, White or other identity. I would suggest to him to make a complaint to Ofcom if he felt the decision was based on race, as he is right to point it out if that was the case – I just think he should have moderate his language.
Hopefully he will be re-running his Top Blogs some time. I wonder how he will rank me as someone who is a Co-operative Party Councillor and member of the Conservative Co-operative Society who is in coalition with Plaid Cymru on Pontypridd Town Council and has acted as a counting agent for the Official Moster Raving Loony Party and recently been out leafleting for the Labour Party!
What obligations to membership organisations have to others with regards to their civil and human rights?April 18th, 2011 by Jonathan Bishop
I have for the last week been re-writing my social enterpriseâ€™s constitution and policies to ensure they explicitly comply with the Equality Acts of 2006 and 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998. I think these are three of the most significant pieces of legislation New Labour passed, but without the efforts of other governments they may never have come into being.
Many people argue how they believe the Human Rights Act is a ‘criminals charter’ or the Equality Acts are ‘political correctness gone mad’, but I think they are essential to ensuring that all people are able to go about their lives and expect to be treated equally to others.
Some of the points I make in this article I have presented to others and spoken on elsewhere in this blog, but I will need to mention them here for context. In the following paragraphs are the conclusions I have come to on how these laws apply to membership based organisations.
1. Every organisation which has members shall not be able to bar someone from being a member on the basis of their age, gender or sex, sexual orientation, marital or other civil union status, religion or other belief, race, gender reassignment status, or pregnancy/maternity status. I will refer to these as protected characteristics (Equality Act 2010 applied). Nor shall they, as a requirement of membership, compel any of their members to associate with any other member within a group within the organisation to which they may have a common protected characteristic (Human Rights Act 1998). They are also not allowed to compel a member to associate with other persons where doing so would compromise their protected characteristics. So for example, some trade unions currently require a member to be a member of the Labour Party in order to receive political aid. If a member had beliefs contrary to the Labour Party then it would be an infringement of that member’s rights to deny them aid because they didn’t believe in the Labour Party’s common beliefs.
This is because in the case of such a member exercising their protected characteristic with regards to religion of belief, the organisation must recognise that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and everyone has the freedom to change they religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or with other members or person, whether in public or private places, to manifest their religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance (Human Rights Act 1998 applied). The only time a member may not be entitled to express their religion or belief or associate with other members in this regard is where it conflicts with interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others (ibid).
2. An organisation is allowed have as it objects to promote the causes of a particular group of people sharing a protected characteristic above, but they are not allowed to exclude someone from membership because they do not meet a specific quality relating to one of that protected characteristic (Equality Act 2010 applied). So for example, an organisation that seeks to promote youth justice is required to allow anyone of any age to join. However, the parent or guardians of the young members have a right to ask that the organisation not allow an older member to associate with the younger members who the parents or guardians have collectively defined a group on the basis of a certain age or group of ages.
3. It is not unlawful for the other members of that organisation not to associate with that member if they identify themselves as a group meeting one of the protected characteristics and the member they donâ€™t want to meet doesn’t have that characteristic (Equality Act 2006 and Human Rights Act 1998 applied).
However it is unlawful for members of such a group decide not to not associate with another member if they meet the protected characteristic that group is based on and the members donâ€™t want to associate with them because of something arising from that or any other protected characteristic (Equality Act 2006 and Equality Act 2010 applied).
4. Any organisation shall not be allowed to inhibit a memberâ€™s rights to associate with other members sharing a protected characteristic, unless it is because they are doing so to protect national security or public safety, disorder or crime, health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others, which I shall call restricted acts of assembly.
The organisation shall not prevent those members from assembling using its facilities if they decide to form as a group based on that characteristic even if that group is not related to the characteristic the organisation wishes to promote. The exception to this is that group is not acting to promote the organisationâ€™s objects relating to that characteristic or is encouraging, supporting or enacting a restricted act of assembly and is assembling to support other external interests, as this may compromise the organisationâ€™s integrity (Equality Act 2006 and Human Rights Act 1998 applied).
The only time this doesn’t apply is where those interests are essential to the members rights to associate in the organisation, such as maintaining the privacy of their home or correspondence, their right to enter into a civil union,
5. Where members have agreed to form a group based on a protected characteristic, the organisation, to avoid claims of institutional discrimination, should consult with those members as to their collective needs and provide for those needs on a non-discriminatory basis (Equality Act 2006 applied). That is, the organisationâ€™s privileges and benefits should not favour one group more than another, unless that group is based on disability, where that group can be treated more favourably.
6. Members of a group should not prevent any other members of the organisation whether part of the group or not from expressing themselves to or within because the consensus of the group differs from them where that difference is based on a protected characteristic, unless it is in order to protect the reputation of others, the health or morals of others, preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary (Equality Act 2006, Equality Act 2010 and Human Rights Act 1998 applied), which I will call protected acts of expression.
7. An organisation shall not require members to perform particular duties, whether paid or unpaid, where the condition of membership is not on the basis of employment or related status, unless that work forms part of that members normal civic obligations, to provide emergency aid to protect life, or as part of military service (Human Rights act 1998 applied).
This means workers co-operatives are protected, but other organisations whose membership criteria is not based on employment are not allowed to compel anyone to perform forced or compulsory labour. This is except where organisations supporting offenders who have been required by law to provide for that member to carry out that work, or where that member holds a position of say first aider and they are required to perform those duties.
8. Organisation shall not subject members to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, regardless of whether or not they have a protected characteristic (Human Rights Act 1998 applied). Nor shall they victimise or harass a member who demands their rights to enjoy their protected characteristic though either internal or external procedures, or where provide information to others about how the law protects this characteristic (Equality Act 2010).
9. An organisation shall not do anything that would shorten the life of a member or any other person (Human Rights Act 1998 applied). At all times they should have consideration for how wrongly managing a personâ€™s protected characteristic can impact on their life expectancy, and take measures to prevent such an eventuality (ibid).
This includes a health insurance provider who by not providing someone with a particular treatment to extend their life in effect shortens it. It also includes an organisation which fails to act where they know one of their members is going to commit suicide and that member does. The only time a member of an organisation may limit someoneâ€™s life expectancy is in defence of any person from unlawful violence, in order to give effect to a lawful arrest or to prevent escape of a person lawfully detained, or in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection (Human Rights Act 1998 applied).
The Court of Justice of the EU recently determined that national rules which, in order to promote access of younger persons to employment, permitted an employer to dismiss employees who had acquired the right to draw their retirement pension, when that right was acquired by women at an age five years younger than the age at which it was acquired by men, constituted direct discrimination on the grounds of sex.
There has been a lot of debate about the impacts this ruling will have on the country, with some newspapers quoting Labour Party MEPs who thinks the decision is wrong, even though only last year Labour introduced new legislation to make this ruling easy enforcing this decision. This case, Kleist v Pensionsversicherungsanstalt (C-356/09) has wide implications for other â”protected characteristicsâ” under the Equality Act 2010, which is based on EU law. I will consider two of them – disability and civil unions – now.
Consider disabilities. I have to currently pay twice the amount of insurance others do in order to have my ‘pre-existing’ conditions covered. Considering the judgement in the Kleist case the insurance I take out is acquired by able-bodied people at a cheaper price than a disabled person for the same amount of cover, which constitutes direct discrimination on the grounds of disability.
Consider marriage and civil partnership (‘civil unions’). I am not in a civil union. The government want to encourage civil unions and provide tax incentives to encourage this. They are therefore taxing the wealth acquired by someone who is in a civil union less that the wealth acquired by someone who is not, which constitutes direct discrimination on the grounds of civil union status.
Having a look at the various protected characteristics it is likely that you will see a circumstance in which some good or service you have acquired has cost more because of a certain aspect of who you are in reference to these. Under the Equality Act 2010 and various other laws in EU countries using the same directives to make their laws, you should be considered to have been discriminated against if you were treated worse than someone else because you fall into a protected characteristic.