Women and Equalities Committee launch coronavirus inquiry
The Committee want to hear about the impact of the Government measures on people protected under the Equality Act – this includes Disabled people. Closing date 30 April.
The Women and Equalities Committee wants to hear about the different and disproportionate impact that the Coronavirus – and measures to tackle it – is having on people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission and other organisations have expressed concerns that there may be a particular impact on some people who have protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010: age, disability, sex, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.
The Committee would like to find out more about the impact that Government measures including emergency legislation are having on people with these protected characteristics.
- Have all the relevant equality issues been considered?
- Are there any unforeseen consequences?
- If there are problems, what could be done differently/ better?
Closing date for responses: 30 April 2020.
However, evidence submitted after that time will still be useful as the Committee will continue to review the situation and scrutinise the Government.
About the inquiry
The Committee would like to find out more about the impact that Government measures including emergency legislation are having on people with these protected characteristics. Examples which the Committee has heard about include:
- Children with special educational needs and their families may be particularly affected by school closures;
- Inclusion London has said that the amended duty for local authorities to provide support only when the failure to do so may breach rights under the European Convention on Human Rights “poses a serious risk to the lives of many Disabled people, especially those of us who need social care support.”
The Committee is conscious that there may be many more equality impacts and is keen to hear from individuals and from organisations on these questions:
- How have people have been affected by the illness or the response to it?
- Have there been specific impacts on people due to them having a protected characteristic?
- Are there any unforeseen consequences to measures brought in to ease the burden on frontline staff?
The Government has said current measures will be reviewed in three weeks’ time, and measures in the Coronavirus Act be voted on again in 6 months’ time:
- What needs to change or improve, which could be acted on in three weeks’ time?
- What needs to change or improve, which could be acted on in 6 months’ time?
The Committee would like to receive responses by 30 April. However, evidence submitted after that time will still be useful as the Committee will continue to review the situation and scrutinise the Government.
Any evidence directly relevant to the Government’s three week review of the current measures should be provided as soon as possible.