UK - The TUC will call for new equality laws to give equal pension rights for lesbian and gay workers and to other unmarried partners later this week.
Leading legal experts will converge at the TUC’s discrimination law conference on Friday to look at how the Government should bring in the new equality laws required by Europe.
For the first time the new laws will ban discrimination against lesbian and gay workers, older workers and on religious grounds.
The government, is consulting on the new laws, including how new rights for lesbian and gay workers should operate. But current proposals would still exclude at least 200,000 lesbian and gay workers from nominating a partner as a pension beneficiary.
TUC deputy general secretary Brendan Barber will say: “Lesbian and gay workers pay the same pension contributions as other staff. Fairness requires that they get the same treatment, including the right to nominate a surviving partner to benefit from pension rights.
“The TUC wants to see a proactive framework of equality law in the UK. Employers should be placed under positive duties to promote equality. Such an approach will encourage partnership at work and avoid individual litigation. New positive duties will give unions the chance to engage constructively with employers to ensure equal treatment for all groups in the workforce.”
The TUC will also be launching a new report on the subject, ‘Winning lesbian and gay equality’, in February.
The Government's consultation document on new equality laws, 'Towards Equality and Diversity', was published in December 2001. Deadline for responses is March 31, 2002.
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