EHRC to be reformed
The Government is to consult on plans to reform the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to ensure it focuses on its core activities.
The consultation will ask if some tasks "can be done better or more cost effectively by others". Under the proposals, the EHRC would concentrate on: - promoting awareness of equality legislation so that individuals, employers and others understand their rights and obligations;
- promoting good practice and building organisations' ability to eliminate unlawful discrimination and advance equality of opportunity;
- monitoring compliance with equality legislation and holding government and public bodies to account for their performance on equality:
- intervening to address non-compliance, including bringing, or supporting individuals to bring, strategic test cases to clarify and enforce the law;
- maintaining a "robust evidence base" to inform and drive improvements in equality practice;
- helping the Government to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of the Equality Act 2010.
However, certain duties would be removed from the EHRC, for instance, it would no longer get funding for its helpline and grants programmes and would no longer provide mediation services. It would also be required to provide "greater transparency, accountability and value for money".
The consultation closes on 15 June 2011.