The Equality Bill – the Island's first comprehensive legislation against discrimination – will begin its passage through the branches of Tynwald with a first reading in the Legislative Council next Tuesday (March 8, 2016).
The 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.
Its implementation would be phased in, building upon and superseding existing discrimination legislation which deals mainly with employment and disability.
The Bill is based on the United Kingdom's Equality Act 2010 but with some Isle of Man adaptations, principally in relation to the enforcement structure. It was subject to extended public consultation between August and December 2014, attracting 70 responses.
Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK commented:
'The Equality Bill is landmark social legislation for the Isle of Man. It sends out a powerful message that the Island is a modern, inclusive society and that the Manx Government is committed to equality and fairness for everyone in our community.'