Businesses need to gear up for a raft of new, far reaching social legislation that aims to ensure fair and equal treatment for all.
The Equality Bill 2016 will create rights in the Isle of Man which are entirely new and it will be unlawful for anyone to discriminate, in the provision of goods and services as well as in employment, on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation. The associated regulations and codes of practice will also be very significant in the implementation of the Act.
The remit of the Island’s Employment Tribunal will be extended and it will be renamed the Employment and Equality Tribunal. The Tribunal will have the power to introduce fees in respect of claims filed, although it is expected these will be of a “threshold” nature to discourage weak cases.
It has been rightly said that this is one of the Isle of Man’s major pieces of legislation when enacted later this year [it is currently in its second reading]. If Manx Companies, including public bodies, are going to be in a position to comply with the new requirements, it will be necessary to review existing practices, policies and contractual arrangements.
A key concept in the Bill is its definition of the “protected characteristics” in relation to which discrimination is unlawful. These include age, disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
Read the full article here: Isle of Man Equality Bill 2016