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New discrimination law in 2010

Published:  28 January, 2010

MANCHESTER: Employers should prepare now for the Equality Bill and other discrimination law changes expected in 2010.

North West law firm, Mace & Jones employment law partner, Phil Allen said the Equality Bill is potentially "the biggest change in discrimination law in a generation".

"Employers must not underestimate the depth and scope of this new legislation which makes several fundamental changes to the law," he said.

The Bill replaces existing laws with more than 100 measures, and will require businesses of all sizes and types to take positive steps to avoid discrimination in the workplace.

Mr Allen said an important change in the bill extends the definition of harassment in the workplace so employers could now be held liable for harassment of staff by a third party such as customer, client, contractor.

Mr Allen said that the proposal to ban less favourable treatment of employees who discuss their pay or bonuses with other staff, will for many employers be the biggest change in practice.