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Equality and Human Rights Commission.

23rd February, 2011

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), has announced a new initiative, encouraging individuals to contact them about cases relating to widespread or serious breaches of equality laws or the Human Rights Act 1998.

The EHRC was established by the Equality Act 2006, and came into being in October 2007. As a national Human Rights institution, it seeks to promote and protect human rights in Great Britain. In addition to influencing legislative and policy developments, the EHRC also has statutory powers to take judicial review proceedings, hold enquiries in respect of human rights or intervene in ongoing proceedings which are being brought by others. It is also possible for a Claimant to make an application to the EHRC for external legal funding.

Following on from the implementation of the Equality Act 2010 last year, the EHRC is now encouraging people to contact it about cases that it might intervene in or issues that it might take up. In particular, it is looking for policies or procedures which are resulting in widespread or significant breaches of human rights or equality legislation.

Once an issue is reported, the EHRC will not need the individual to make a claim, as it can bring a claim in its own name. When considering whether or not to get involved in a case the EHRC will look at its strategic priorities, its human rights strategy and the casework and litigation strategy, all of which are available on its website.

The Equality Act 2010 has already proved to be somewhat of a legal headache for some employers, with the new legislation often requiring updates to existing policies and practices. In light of the EHRC’s new initiative, it is more important than ever to ensure that your policies, procedures and other documentation are compliant with new legislation.

Aaron and Partners LLP Employment Team offer a free review of your Equal Opportunities Policy, Contract of Employment and Company Handbook. Please contact a member of the team if you would like to take us up on this offer.

For more information on this, or any other Employment Law matter, please contact Helen Watson on 01244 405565 or email her here.

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