Race Relations Act 1976 and the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000

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					Race Relations Act 1976 and the Race Relations Amendment
Act 2000
The 1976 Act makes race discrimination unlawful in:
   Employment
   Education
   Training and
   Provision of goods, facilities and services.

Defining race discrimination
The Act defines discrimination as direct and indirect discrimination and
victimisation.

Direct race discrimination occurs when a person treats another person less
favourably on the grounds of colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin.
Examples include:
   Refusing to serve ethnic minority clients
   Ignoring racial harassment of employees

Indirect race discrimination occurs when a condition or requirement which:

 a smaller proportion from the victim’s racial group can comply with, and
 is detrimental to the victim because s/he cannot comply with it, and
 cannot be shown to be justifiable irrespective of the colour, race, nationality
  or national and ethnic origins of the person to whom it is applied. For
  example, requirement of a certain height.
Victimisation
The act safeguards people who exercise their rights, including people who
help others in pursuing complaints regarding race discrimination
THE RACE RELATIONS AMENDMENT ACT 2000
The Act came into force on 2nd April 2001. It requires public authorities to
make the promotion of racial equality central to all activities. The general
duty of the Act also expects public authorities to take the lead in:
   eliminating racial discrimination

   promoting equality of opportunity and good relations between people
    of different racial groups.

The new public duty requires public bodies to implement race equality in all
aspects of employment matters, such as


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                            - recruitment & selection
                            - training
                            - promotion
                            - discipline and
                            - dismissal.
Therefore to comply with the general duty all public bodies should equality
proof their employment procedures and practice and take all necessary steps
to prevent discrimination.

The Act also places specific duties on public authorities to:

      develop and implement a Race Equality Scheme
      assess whether their functions and policies are relevant to race
       equality
      monitor their policies to see how they affect race equality
      assess and consult on policies they are proposing to introduce
      publish the results of their consultations, monitoring and assessments
      make sure that the public have access to the information and services
       they provide
      train staff on the new duties

The Amended Act supports Positive Action measures permitted by the 1976
Act (Section 35), such as the making facilities or services available to meet
the specific education, training or welfare needs of particular racial groups.
For example:
1. Providing English language classes for refugees
2. Seeking to attract ethnic minorities through targeted publicity to inform of
   opportunities and services provided.

Genuine Occupational Qualification (GOQ)

Previously, being from a particular racial group could be a genuine
occupational qualification for a specific type of job, such as acting, and
employers could, where appropriate, employ only people from that group to
do that job. The references to particular types of job have now been abolished
(under the Race Relations Amendment Regulations 2003) and any job may
now be restricted to a racial group based on the relevant grounds – but only if
there is a genuine occupational requirement and if it is applied appropriately.

Liability
Under the legislation both the individual and the organisation are libel for acts
of discrimination. For instance Section 32 of the 1976 Act made employers
vicariously liable for acts of unlawful discrimination by their employees, even if
the employers did not approve or know about the acts in question.



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However, employers will not be liable, if they can prove that they took
reasonable practicable steps such as following the CRE’s statutory code of
practice in employment.

Responsible body
The governing body of an institution within the higher education sector is
responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act.

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) has the power to enforce the
duties specified in the Act.


Implications for JMU
1. To continue collecting recruitment data for ethnic minority staff and
   students
2. To review current provisions and support provided to members of racial
   minorities

3. To monitor progress for career development, promotion opportunities for
   staff and retention and success rates for students
4. Address under-representation of racial minorities at all levels of the
   University
5. To take speedy action over complaints alleging race discrimination and/ or
   harassment. Ensure that zero tolerance is practiced.
6. To have a Race Equality Scheme/ Action Plan (by 31st May 2002).

Useful Contact
Commission for Racial Equality                          Tel: 0207- 828 7022
Elliot House                                            Fax: 0207-630 7605
10/12 Allignton Street, London, SW1E 5EH
Email: Info@cre.gov.uk
Website: www.cre.gov.uk

European Union Race Regulations 2003
On 17th June 1997 the Heads of State and Government of the fifteen member
states of the European Union revised the Treaty of the European Community
at Amsterdam. Article 13 of the Treaty provides a legal base for Community
action to combat discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin.

The Directive was agreed unanimously at the European Social Affairs Council
on 6th June 2000 and published in the official Journal of the European
Communities on 19 July 2000 as directive no. 2000/43/EC. The EC Article 13
Race Directive establishes, for the first time, a minimum standard of legal
protection from racial discrimination across Europe.



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The UK's domestic legislation already conformed to many of the provisions of
the Race Directive - however some amendments to the Race Relations Act
were required.

The regulations came into force on 19 July 2003.

Reference
The General Duty to Promote Racial Equality: guidance for public authorities
on their obligations under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, April
2001, CRE, London.

Changes to the Law against racial discrimination, Published by Home Office,
Communication Directorate, June 2003.




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Description: Race Relations Act 1976 and the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000