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15 January 2015
The Isle of Man legislature is considering a new Equality Bill designed to update the island's discrimination laws and expand the protected characteristics in relation to employment and the provision of goods and services.
The Equality Bill is based on the UK Equality Act 2010, but is not identical. It will create new areas of protection against discrimination, particularly in relation to the provision of goods and services. The Isle of Man has certain employment discrimination protection under the Employment Act 2006. The protected characteristics in the proposed legislation are:
It is proposed that rights will be enforced by widening the remit of the existing Employment Tribunal and renaming it the Employment and Equality Tribunal. There has been a period of consultation with the community and consultees' submissions are being considered. The bill will be finalised by the Isle of Man Council of Ministers before being introduced to the legislative procedure, possibly by Spring 2015. It is proposed that the bill may complete its legislative passage and receive royal assent in late 2015 or early 2016.
The Isle of Man business community will need to take steps to comply with the new legislation when it is enlivened. As well as the equality aspects of the proposed legislation, there are some updating provisions regarding general employment law. One proposal is to include powers for a fee to be charged to take a claim to the Isle of Man Employment Tribunal and to require a respondent to a complaint to pay the fee or part of it in certain specified circumstances. The fee structure proposed would not be the same as in the United Kingdom.
The constitutional position of the Isle of Man means that as it is not a member of the European Union, it is not obliged to incorporate EU directives into its domestic law. However, the government monitors such legislation and reviews its effectiveness for a small island jurisdiction. Accordingly, Isle of Man labour law is not the same as in the United Kingdom, although it has many similar characteristics.
For further information on this topic please contact John T Aycock at M&P Legal by telephone (+44 1624 695800), fax (+44 1624 695801) or email (email@example.com). The M&P Legal website can be accessed at www.mplegal.im.
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John T Aycock