Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Equality watchdog concludes monitoring of Labour Party action plan
The Labour Party has made the changes required by its agreed action plan to address breaches of the Equality Act, says Britain’s equality regulator.
On 29 October 2020, the Equality and Human Rights Commission served the Labour Party with an unlawful act notice, after its investigation into antisemitism found the Party responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.
As a result, the Labour Party was obliged to produce an action plan to prevent continuation or reoccurrence of those unlawful acts, which was legally enforceable by the court if not fulfilled.
The action plan concluded on 31 January 2023.
Britain’s equality regulator has now confirmed that it is content with the actions taken and has concluded its work with the Party.
Marcial Boo, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:
"All organisations, whether they are firms, charities or public bodies, have a duty to protect their members and employees. Britain’s equality laws apply to them all. Those organisations in the public eye have a particular responsibility to comply with the law, and to set high standards in tackling discrimination, including all forms of racism.
“In October 2020, following a thorough investigation of the UK Labour Party that found unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination, we made detailed recommendations to ensure that the Party adheres to equality law.
“We have reviewed progress with the agreed action plan since then. On 31 January 2023, we concluded our monitoring as we were satisfied that the Party had implemented the necessary actions to improve its complaints, recruitment, training and other procedures to the legal standards required. This will help to protect current and future Labour Party members from discrimination and harassment.
“No organisation is above the law. Every employer and every public body must take active steps to address racism and all other forms of illegal discrimination. We are pleased that our investigation and action plan has had the desired impact in this case.”
Notes to editors
- The Equality and Human Rights Commission is Great Britain’s national equality body and has been awarded an ‘A’ status as a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) by the United Nations. Our job is to help make Britain fairer. We do this by safeguarding and enforcing the laws that protect people’s rights to fairness, dignity and respect.
- For further information contact the EHRC Press Office on 0161 829 8102.
- The Action Plan to Drive out Antisemitism set out in full the Labour Party’s response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report entitled “Investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party” which was published on 29 October 2020.
- The Action Plan addressed each recommendation in the report giving timescales for delivery and mechanisms to measure the success of each activity.
- EHRC monitored the Action Plan for a period of two years, with two monitoring dates in April and July 2021 and a final monitoring date in December 2022.
- EHRC received regular reports on progress and frequently met with the Labour Party to discuss these.
The final report set out a number of recommendations to the Party to incorporate in their legally-binding action plan, which included:
- Leadership committed to zero-tolerance of antisemitism, culture change and action against offenders
- Independent Antisemitism Complaints Handling Process to be set up as soon as possible
- All National Executive Committee and National Constitutional Committee antisemitism panels to be assisted by external lawyers
- Consultation with the Jewish community to be built into all aspects of the Action Plan. (With immediate effect, we established a high-level Advisory Board and a Reference Group to work closely with the Labour Party and act as a sounding board)
- Summary of case decisions to be posted on the Labour Party website
- Due diligence checks strengthened on candidates
- Labour Party website to be updated with dedicated pages for antisemitism complaints
- Complaints Handling Handbook to be developed for all staff and to especially guide those handling antisemitism complaints
- Social media guidelines strengthened to make clear that sharing or liking antisemitic content will be subject to disciplinary action
- Alongside Jewish stakeholders, appropriate antisemitism training to be delivered for all staff
- Protocol to be published governing the Leadership’s interaction with disciplinary and complaints procedures
Original article link: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-work/news/equality-watchdog-concludes-monitoring-labour-party-action-plan
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