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BLUNKETT RESPONDS TO EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION PROPOSALS

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Education and employment secretary David Blunkett has responded to ...
Education and employment secretary David Blunkett has responded to

the Equal Opportunities Commission,s recommendations for a new sex

equality law to replace the present Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay

Acts.

Mr Blunkett said:

'I received these recommendations with interest. The EOC has come up

with a wide-ranging set of proposals for change. Some of the

recommendations have far-reaching consequences and will need to be

studied in detail throughout government before we respond. We will

need to consider them in depth to see what their practical impact

would be.

'Our goal is equality for all and we have already taken steps to

remove obstacles that prevent people from making the most of their

abilities. We have: committed over£340m to the national

childcare strategy to help parents and children;

- produced the White Paper on Fairness at Work, setting out proposals

on parental leave, maternity pay and working hours;

- introduced a National Minimum Wage Act which should narrow the gap

between men and women's pay;

- launched an action plan for equal opportunities in public

appointments; and,

- produced a draft Code of Practice - 'Action on Age' - to combat

age discrimination.

'We are also setting up a Disability Rights Commission to strengthen

rights for disabled people and undertaking major consultation on

updating Race Relations legislation.

'We will consider the EOC's recommendations against this background

before producing our proposals.'

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