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Voluntary organisations are being offered the chance to share in ...
Voluntary organisations are being offered the chance to share in

£1.3m to raise awareness of new employment equality measures,

industry minister Jacqui Smith announced today.

The cash aims to support voluntary and not-for-profit organisations

in their work to raise awareness and understanding of the new sexual

orientation and religion or belief legislation. A range of

organisations will be able to benefit from this funding.

The increased level of information and awareness will have benefits

for individuals and employers needing to understand the new rights

and responsibilities.

Ms Smith said:

'These new regulations outlaw discrimination at work on the grounds

of sexual orientation and religion for the first time and offers

basic rights to people who experience discrimination.

'The£1.3m I'm announcing today will help ensure the increased

awareness of the new legislation and reflect our commitment to


The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation and Religion or Belief)

Regulations aim to:

* outlaw discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, religion or

belief in employment and vocational training

* provide protection to all workers from unfair discrimination,

harassment and victimisation on these grounds

The funding is available for and up to 31 March 2005 and

organisations are invited to submit proposals by 21 July



1. The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) and Employment

Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations implement part of the

Employment Directive, adopted in 2000. They were approved by

parliament on 26 June 2003 and came into force on 1 and 2 December


2. Individuals who feel they have been discriminated against on the

grounds of sexual orientation and religion or belief can take their

complaint to an employment tribunal. If a tribunal finds in their

favour they can award compensation to the individual. There is no

upper limit to the amount of compensation the organisation maybe be

ordered to pay.

3. Funding criteria includes:

* Proposals must support the new equality legislation areas of sexual

orientation and religion/belief. This might mean activity focused

entirely on one or both of the new strands, or as part of wider

activity which encompasses other aspects of equality or other issues.

* Proposals must show that they have the necessary management and

financial controls in place to ensure that the money is used in

accordance with government accounting rules.

4. A small panel made up of representatives from DTI (Selected

Employment Rights, Women and Equality Unit and Fair Markets), Welsh

Assembly Government and Scotland Office/Scottish Executive will

assess the bids and make recommendations to the Head of Employment

Relations who will make the final decision on bids.

5. Project proposals should be with the DTI by 21 July 2004 to

6. For details of the application form and notes for those intending

to submit proposals refer to the DTI


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