Equality Bill – request for help

As we noted here, the Government’s new Equality Bill brings together various bits of anti-discrimination legislation and extends some of them.  One area that is extended is protection against age discrimination, which is now covered by Part 3, in respect of goods, facilities and services.  It is not however covered by Part 4 which deals with premises, including housing.

A number of people seem to be looking into this; the Conservatives have put down an amendment as part of the Committee stage, which would include age in Part 4.  We have been contacted by Age Concern and Help the Aged, who are looking for any evidence of harmful age discrimination in premises, in relation to the terms on which housing is offered or the management of housing.  Although their primary focus is older people they are also interested in information of age discrimination against young people.  Housing Benefit rules are one obvious example.

If you have any evidence please send it, not to us, but to them care of Robert.Brown at helptheaged.org.uk.  Hopefully they can keep us updated of developments.

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chief is a barrister in the big city. he specialises in public law, landlord & tenant, football and rock 'n' roll (the last two are only when his clerks aren't watching). he sometimes pops by here, but not as often as he'd like. he will occasionally eschew capital letters. the reasons for this odd affectation are lost in the mists of time.
Posted in Assured Shorthold tenancy, assured-tenancy, Housing law - All, secure-tenancy and tagged , , , .

2 Comments

  1. Any views or news on this? I’ve read the Act and the newly released guidance (which seems lacking in details), My understanding is this:

    Part 3 covers services and public functions, but section 28(2) appears to state that this section does not cover discrimination that is or would be covered by Part 4.

    Part 4 covers premises and Part 4 specifically excludes the protected characteristic of age. I am aware of Part 11 about public authorities or those exercising functions of a public nature having to have due regard to isuees in section 1.

    However, I am still of the view that age will not be a protected characteristic when RPs or LAs let or advertise their properties.

    What are your views and is anyone aware of any social landlords making any changes to their practices?

    • Sorry, missed this comment at the time. My view is that you’re right and that was certainly the intention of the gvt when they introduced the legislation.

      Some vague anecdotal reports suggest that some RPs were reviewing their equality schemes before the Act came in, with a view to ensuring consistency across the strands and without drawing the same distinctions that the Act does. I have yet to see any policies that actually reflect that though.

      If you want my view on whether the legislative approach is right, then the answer has to be “no”. The absence of principle is staggering.

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