The new Equality Bill in the UK attempts to bring domestic law regarding positive action into line with EU norms. The author addresses two key criticisms of the provisions, namely: a) that they allow positive discrimination; and b) that they will be ineffective in practice. It is argued that the first criticism is misconceived; preference of a minority candidate where they are equally as qualified as a male candidate simply recognises that equality is not about treating everybody the same, but having a relevant reason for treating them differently. The second criticism is more compelling. The author recommends that the UK make the transition to a systemic model and impose positive duties on employers in a similar vein to that which has developed in Canada. However, a delicate equilibrium must be achieved; special treatment of women and minorities regardless of merit is not conducive to a society that values diversity.
|26 January 2010
|Langille, Brian A.
|University of Toronto
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