The Equality Act is a waste of money and has no tangible benefit other than giving some do-gooders a misplaced feeling of well-being, claims a think-tank.
The hard-nosed comments are from a report in to the impact of the law by social and religious commentator Civitas.
In the report, Assessing The Damage, by Nigel Williams, argues that efforts to protect the disadvantaged from discrimination in the workplace saving the government up to £85 million a year are ‘spurious’ and will probably lead to more job losses.
The report is part of the group’s continuing campaign against the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
In August, another report complained the EHRC ‘contributed little to meaningful equality.’
In the latest report, Civitas explains that putting a value on the law is inappropriate as the outcome is an idealogical gain rather as to meet the goal, the EHRC would have to prove equality had improved.
“The claims for the 2010 Equality Act are immense. There are a few initial costs, followed by massive annual gains; social evils may be reduced while contributing to the economy at the same time. With a little scrutiny, however, the balance of benefits over costs vanishes very rapidly,” says the report.
“No money is produced or saved. The estimate is just of the feeling of well-being coming from a belief that differences between people have been reduced. The value is ideological, nothing more.”
The report goes on to argue that the cost savings are ‘illusory’ as are contestable, but the costs are real and likely to be larger than the Equality Act Impact Assessment estimates.
Two examples are given –
- That the impact assessment costs the time on the assumption staff would take only eight work-hours at each small and medium-sized business to read, digest and disseminate 800 pages of guidance
- Costs of adapting housing for the disabled could be zero, while the benefits add up to £10 million. This assumes that no extra work at all can still produce substantially improved accommodation.
“The annual consequences of this legislation will serve not to pay back the costs, but to add to them. The ideological benefits of the Equality Act are debatable at best. The financial benefits simply do not exist,” says the report.
This article is filed under: Gender, marital status Discrimination, Diversity, Housing, Leadership, Minorities, women, mothers faimly work-life balance
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