Critical Analysis of Westminster City Council
Equal Opportunities policies have yet to eradicate inequality, discrimination and oppression in society (gender, class, ethnicity, age, disability, health etc.)
Term Paper 2012 11 Pages
Equality and right to equal opportunities are still evident and persistent in most of the places, be it at school, workplace, or society in whole. The exploitation of equal rights is more prevalent in places with diversified culture. Gender equality and women’s rights have gained growing attention over the past decades as a result of which international labor standards and national legislation have been adopted on a wide range of related issues (ILO, 2000). According to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2000) global inequality continued to grow over the 20th century and is still increasing in countries and between countries. OECD estimates that the quantum of inequality will be even larger by the year 2020 between OECD countries and poor countries. The gap in equality on global front is large, but the same gap persists within the nation on the basis of gender, class, ethnicity, age, disability, health, income, employment, etc. Witcher (2005) states that mainstreaming equality is done through incorporating equal opportunities issues into all actions, programmes and policies from the outset. This paper aims to present the issues of equality, diversity and rights at workplace in Westminster City Council by explaining the various legislations and acts protecting the rights of people living in United Kingdom.
Various legislations have been enacted in the United Kingdom to eradicate the unequal treatment in the society. The first and foremost legislation, Equal Pay Act 1970, was passed to dismantle the roots of inequality in pay rates which were biased towards men as women were paid less comparatively while working in the same capacity as of their male counterpart. Later on various legislations like Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999, Gender Recognition Act 2004, Gender Equality Duty of 2007, Disability Discrimination Acts, Race regulations, employment equality (religion or belief) regulations 2003, employment equality (age) regulations 2006, were enacted and passed so as to provide equal opportunities and protect their rights to equality of vulnerable groups (www.gos.gov.uk). The recent legislation, Equality Act 2010 lays cross cutting legislative framework to protect the rights of individuals and promote equal opportunities to all and to eradicate discriminatory practices in the society (www.equalities.gov.uk). The act strengthens the previous equal rights acts of disability and employment by preventing the employers from screening the disabled applicant from the recruitment process (Government Equalities Office, 2010). The Equality Act 2010 addresses all the problems regarding equal rights and equal opportunities in the society including workplace (Government Equalities Office, 2010).