Equality and Diversity

The UK Government played an active role in negotiating two European Directives on equality. Their impact will be significant in tackling discrimination across the EU.

The Employment Directive outlaws discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability and age in employment and vocational training. New legislation - The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 - came into force in December 2003. Amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 came into force in October 2004 and new legislation outlawing discrimination on grounds of age by the end of 2006.

The Race Directive outlaws discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin in the areas of employment, vocational training, goods and services, social protection, education and housing. Changes to the Race Relations Act 1976 to implement the Directive came into force in July 2003.