Consultation responses

Over the years, the DLA has established a reputation for its knowledge, expertise and understanding of discrimination law issues. Government departments and other statutory agencies regularly seek our views on changes and development in law and policy areas.

Participation from members ensures that our contributions to policy and public debates are grounded in and informed by the experiences of those affected by discrimination cases and issues on a daily basis.

This page lists all of the submissions and responses that the DLA has made to government and European Commission consultations, as well as contributions it has made to research, surveys and consultations by other organisations. The most recent submissions are listed first.

As an added resource, for some consultations we have added links to the responses from other organisations.

Ethnic Minority Under-representation in Parliament

The DLA's recommendations for a legal framework that would enable the under-representation of ethnic minority MPs to be corrected, prepared in response to the Race Relations (Election Candidates) Bill introduced by Keith Vaz in February 2008. 

EC Proposals for a new Directive prohibiting discrimination outside employment

In its submission to the EC, the DLA makes a number of specific recommendations regarding the text of this proposed Directive, specifically in the areas of exceptions, positive action, victimination, multiple discrimination, equality bodies, and public procurement.

The DLA strongly recommends that these changes are introduced via a single Directive covering all four grounds of discrimination (religion or belief, age, disability, and sexual orientation), rather than separate Directives for each ground. We believe that a single Directive will aid legal clarity and transparency from the perspective of individuals, employers and service-providers. In addition, a single Directive is a better response to the situation of those who experience multiple discrimination. The DLA raises the concern that the introduction of a further Directive does not lead to any regression from the level of protection already guaranteed in the existing Directives.

January 2008

Independent Police Complaints Commission Guidelines

As organisations with overlapping and shared concerns regarding acts of discrimination by the police the following is a joint response to this consultation by the Police Action Lawyers Group (PALG) and the DLA.

The draft guidance makes clear that the IPCC fully recognises discrimination as an aspect of police conduct about which members of the public are likely to complain. We therefore welcome the decision by the IPCC to seek to ensure high standards and best practice. However, the PALG and the DLA are concerned about much of the content of the draft guidance, including serious inaccuracies, and more fundamental concerns about the ways in which the information on discrimination law and discriminatory conduct referred to in these draft guidelines should be 'packaged' - when, how and to whom it should be provided.

January 2008

Interim funding arrangements for the Equality and Human Rights Commission

The DLA welcomes the opportunity to comment on the EHRC's proposals for its funding of external organisations during 2008-9. The year 2008-9 is likely to be a critical one for the EHRC in terms of establishing its role and credibility with government, the public and its very wide range of stakeholders.

The DLA submits that the EHRC's decisions regarding how it supports, or fails to support, the very wide range of external organisations working in areas within its statutory mandate.

The DLA strongly recommended a total re-ordering of the EHRC's priorities for funding in 2008-9 so that its first two priorities should be the current fourth and third and fourth priorities, namely Provision of complainant aid services and Promoting an understanding of the importance of equalities and human rights.

November 2007

European Commission consultation on anti-discrimination legislation

Responding to the European Commission's questionnaire: Discrimination - Does it Matter?, the DLA answered in the affirmative to each of the EC's questions but also emphasised that there should be equivalent protection from discrimination on all of the grounds within Article 13 of the EC Treaty, and argued the case for positive discrimination.

October 2007

Discrimination Law Review Report: A Framework For Fairness

This is one of the DLA's most comprehensive analyses of the current state of anti-discrimination provisions in Britain. It uses the experience of DLA members, case law, and hypothetical cases to argue for a robust single equality bill and against any retreat from existing levels of protection. While generally supportive of the move towards a single equality bill, it raises several serious concerns regarding the possible content of a future bill, and makes a call for specific attention to be paid to positive action and multiple discrimination. 

September 2007

Implementation of new powers to prevent illegal migrant working in the UK

The DLA was not one of the organisations invited to this Borders and Immigration Agency consultation. However, it submitted a response as the equality impact assessment shows that implementation of the new powers described in the consultation document may result in unlawful racial discrimination.

The DLA's main focus was on the ways in which:

  • The new procedures that employers will be expected to adopt, and
  • The civil penalty regime

may result in unlawful discrimination.

The DLA is concerned regarding the proportionality of scale of the problem weighed against the increased risk of unlawful discrimination and the additional unwanted burden on employers.
The DLA endorses the TUC's recommendations to the response The TUC response can be found on their website :

The DLA nevertheless welcomes the decision by the Border and Immigration Agency to issue a code of practice to help employers avoid unlawful discrimination while seeking to prevent illegal working.

Additional responses to this consultation from the Commission for Racial Equality and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants are included.

August 2007

SDRP: Resolving disputes in the workplace

In response to the Department of Trade & Industry's consultation, the DLA recommends that the statutory dispute resolution procedures be repealed. This is the almost universal recommendation of our previous research of our members (statutory dispute resolution procedures questionnaires).

The DLA response urges that procedures be voluntary and that penalties are not attached to failure to make attempts to resolve/settle disputes, which would simply bring the statutory dispute resolution procedures back in by the back door.

June 2007