The public consultation on comprehensive equality legislation for the Isle of Man will be extended for a further two weeks, Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK announced today.
Originally scheduled to conclude on November 14, the consultation will now close on Friday November 28, following a request for more time to consider the legislation.
The Equality Bill prohibits discrimination, in the provision of goods and services as well as in employment, on the grounds of specified characteristics including age, disability, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation. There are a range of exceptions, however.
The Bill, which would replace the Disability Discrimination Act 2006 amongst other legislation, also requires organisations to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of disabled people.
In his foreword to the consultation document, the Chief Minister describes the Equality Bill as 'one of the most important pieces of social legislation to be progressed in the Isle of Man in recent times.'
'The Bill is a reflection of the priority given by this Government to the protection of the vulnerable. It embodies the values of fairness and tolerance that are the foundation stones of any decent, civilised society.'
The Equality Bill builds upon and supersedes existing legislation which offers some protection against discrimination, mainly in the field of employment. The Bill is largely based on the United Kingdom's Equality Act 2010 but with some Isle of Man adaptations, principally in relation to the enforcement structure.
The consultation began on August 11 and the consultation document can be found on the consultation section of the Government website http://www.gov.im/about-the-government/government/government-consultations/