Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
Government minister Barbara Roche is to speak on the European Union Employment Directive at a forthcoming conferenc...
Government minister Barbara Roche is to speak on the European Union Employment Directive at a forthcoming conference organised by the Employers' Organisation for local government.

The conference, due to take place on 21 November 2002, at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in London, will provide Ms Roche with the first public platform to voice her views on the draft legislation to outlaw discrimination at work on the grounds of sexual orientation, religion and belief.

Ms Roche sees these changes as a significant new development for the UK and is determined to ensure that the Directive has a real impact on the ground:

'This means implementing it in a way that fully engages business. So our first priority has to be getting the legislation on employment and training right, and ensuring that the rights and obligations under the Directive are understood and widely supported. Additionally, we will continue to monitor the impact of the new legislation.

'It is important not to underestimate the potential impact that these changes will have. And to ensure that all the new provisions - which constitute a significant undertaking in themselves - have time to bed down before we consider what we might do next.

'I believe that if we are to realise our vision of equality, we should broaden our approach beyond a focus on legislation - however important that is - and make sure we concentrate on the wider economic inequalities that persist in our society.'

Other speakers at this important conference include Rory Love, leader of Shepway DC and Laura Willoughby, of Islington LBC. Cllr Love, who will be chairing the conference, said:

'I cannot recommend that members attend strongly enough. Any new legislation creates problems or challenges depending on the approach that the employer takes. I would like to think that the challenges that the Directive has laid down would be a good thing. There should be no problems for authorities that are switched on and who are tackling equality and diversity issues in a fairly forward looking way. The challenges will come for those who have been slow to embrace the diversity agenda. However, irrespective of where local authorities are, participating in the conference will help answer a great many questions and provide them with a sounder platform from which to build on the minimum requirements.'

The conference provides elected members, chief executives, human resource specialists and other interested parties with their first opportunity to discuss the directive collectively. After receiving contributions from communities of interest including The Inter-Faith Network, Stonewall, trade unions and the British Humanist Association, delegates will work together to develop strategies for implementing the directive, as well as identifying barriers and prospective remedies.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.