Clause 38

Part of Equality Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:30 am ar 23 Mehefin 2009.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird Solicitor General, Attorney General's Office 10:30, 23 Mehefin 2009

Good morning to you, Mr. Benton, and to all members of the Committee. The provision is not an attempt to do anything stealthy of the type that has been mooted, although my response will be a tiny bit more complicated than my just saying no.

The clause makes it unlawful for “the principal”, the person who makes work available to contract workers, to discriminate, harass or victimise a worker. Amendment 213 would change the effect of the law by limiting the comparison by which discrimination was established to another contract worker. That would be the comparator.

However, clause 22 already establishes the fact that, as under the current law, the comparator must be someone whose circumstances are not materially different from those of the complainant. That is likely to be another contract worker, but it is not impossible that a claimant could seek to compare their treatment with that according to a permanent member of staff employed by the principal if there were, as clause 22 requires, no material difference between the circumstances in the case. It would be a question of fact about whether there was any material difference.