Monday, June 18, 2007

Consultation paper on proposed Equality Bill for Great Britain

From the PHG Foundation Newsletter, 14 June 2007. Stewart, Alison. “Discrimination Law Review outlines proposals for a single Equality Bill for Great Britain”:

Genetic predisposition to disease is considered specifically. The consultation paper proposes there should be no specific legislative prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of genetic predisposition. It notes that there have been very few documented cases of unfair discrimination against people with a genetic predisposition to disease, and that current non-legislative provisions such as the voluntary moratorium on the use of genetic test results in insurance underwriting, and the Information Commissioner’s code of practice for use of genetic test results by employers, appear to be working satisfactorily. It also rejects the suggestion that people with a genetic predisposition to disease should be considered ‘disabled’ while they are still asymptomatic.

However, the paper does endorse the view that “no-one should be unfairly discriminated against on the basis of their genetic characteristics” and proposes that the situation should be kept under review, with the possibility of further non-legislative measures being introduced in the future if justified by the emergence of any evidence of unfair discrimination.

[PredictER Note: SEE Chapter 8.23-8.31, “The Grounds of Discrimination: Genetic predisposition” IN A Framework for Fairness: Proposals for a Single Equality Bill for Great Britain. Discrimination Law Review. London: Department for Communities and Local Government (, June 2007.]

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