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Government Funds Equality Message


The Department of Trade and Industry is investing £1.4m into a campaign designed to spread the word on equality.

Deputy Women and Equality Minister Jacqui Smith has announced that 43 voluntary and community sector organisations will benefit from a £1.4m cash boost to inform people of their rights under the new Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation and Religion or Belief) Regulations.

This latest workplace discrimination law aims to:

* Outlaw discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, religion or belief in employment and vocational training.

* Provide protection to all workers from unfair discrimination, harassment and victimisation on these grounds.

Beneficiaries of the fund include the Muslim Council of Britain who received the single largest award with a grant of £250,000 and the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Stonewall among others.

Announcing the awards Jacqui Smith said: "No one should be discriminated against because of their religion or belief, or their sexual orientation. It is unacceptable in modern Britain. I want to see fair and equal treatment for everyone, that is why I am delighted we are able to fund these schemes. They are an important step in helping us reach that goal."

Raising equality awareness will also help the Commission for Equality and Human Rights draw upon the experience of these organisations and deliver information, advice and guidance to individuals.

The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) and Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations implement part of the Employment Directive, adopted in 2000. They were approved by Parliament on 26 June 2003 and came into force on 1 and 2 December 2003.


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