Friday 22 May 2009


A leading Midlands law firm has joined the growing voice of dissent over the Government’s Equality Bill, declaring: “It may push many employers over the edge.”

The British Chambers of Commerce and Confederation of British Industry have both criticised Harriet Harman’s controversial legislation and now Higgs & Sons has voiced its concerns for businesses in the Midlands.

Tim Jones, head of Higgs’ employment department, said the bill could deepen an already entrenched culture of victimhood and may encourage claims of discrimination – at a time when businesses need all the help they can get in the credit crunch.

The Equality Bill, the draft text of which was published a fortnight ago, aims to strengthen protection, advance equality and simplify the law.

It will attempt to ensure everyone has a fair chance in life, promoting equality and fighting discrimination in all its forms, including age discrimination.

The Bill will promote fairness and equality of opportunity; tackle disadvantage and discrimination; and modernise and strengthen the law to make it fit for the challenges that our society faces today and in the future.

But Tim Jones said that in the current climate, the number of people applying for job vacancies are increasing and, candidates who feel they have missed out on a position through positive action are then much more likely to bring a claim against a prospective employer. He said: “The bill in reality has not been that much of a surprise for those who have followed the endless consultation over the past four years.

“However the proposals addressing positive action, gender pay reporting and hypothetical equal pay comparators are likely to cause more concern and risk for businesses in what are already difficult times.”

For more information about Higgs’ employment department contact Tim Jones on 01384 342100.

Higgs & Sons operates from three locations; Brierley Hill, Stourbridge and Kingswinford. The firm is one of the largest in the Black Country.

Further information on this release contact Hazel Crawford-Upton on 01902 714957 or email

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