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Prime Minister David Cameron has told the CBI that the government will end equality impact assessments in a speech in which he said “bureaucratic nonsense” was not necessary to ensuring the rights of different sexes, races and religions.
The assessments are carried out by government departments and public bodies when new policy or legislation is introduced.
The TUC accused him of being “reckless”. TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “The Prime Minister says he is committed to clamping down on discrimination in the workplace, but at the same time is removing an essential measure for monitoring it.
“Equality impact assessments are not burdensome ‘red tape’. They have proved invaluable in highlighting how proposed legislation could affect women and vulnerable workers.
“In the transport sector the axing of this requirement would allow staffing levels at stations to be changed without any regard to the impact this would have on female passengers’ safety.
“This move smacks of a desperate attempt to placate the business lobby, which like the TUC, is deeply concerned at our economy’s anaemic growth. But scrapping equality impact assessments would be reckless and is not the way to get our country moving again.”