ACLC’s Response to Govt. Equality Office’s (GEO) proposed Caste Guidance
The submission deadline is April 19th 2019. The Government is expected to release it to the public sometime in May 2019.
Opposite are a record of the conversation between GEO and ACLC on the matter. Below is attachment of the draft guidance that GEO has prepared.
Email from GEO
On 23 July 2018 the Government issued its response to its 2017 caste consultation and an accompanying Written Ministerial Statement. In that statement, it committed to repeal the outstanding caste duty once a suitable legislative vehicle became available, and to produce short guidance to help individuals, employers and service providers know their rights and responsibilities in the context of current legislation and case-law.
I attach a copy of the draft guidance that GEO has prepared, and would welcome your comments on it. Please feel free to share this with other interested parties. However, we will be making this guidance generally available to the public by the end of May so we would require any comments that you, or associated individuals or groups, may have by 19 April. Any comments received after that date may not be taken into consideration.
You may wish to consider collating comments on behalf of your community in order to avoid duplication and so that you have oversight of any comments that are being referred to us.
Reply from ACLC
Re 20190318 ACLC’s Response to Govt. Equality Office’s (GEO) proposed Caste Guidance – Submission Deadline is 19.4.19. Govt. expected to release it to public in May 2019.
On 18.3.19, the GEO sent ACLC a copy of the Caste Guidance for input from ACLC and any other Dharmic organisation who wants to feedback on it.
Who will be expected to follow and abide by the GEO Caste Guidance –
2. Dharmic Mandirs & Samaj Organisations
3. Dharmic Community members
4. Public Sector organisations
Introduction - During HMG’s caste consultation, which concluded in July 2018 with the HMG’s response, ACLC had warned the wider community that the consultation offered a false choice between the case law and legislation on caste. ACLC therefore advocated that both options should be rejected. That recommendation was made on the basis that an option for retaining the case law would entail the introduction of a nationwide law on caste. You can click here to review the ACLC letter addressed to the Minister for Women and Equalities at the time, Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, on 15.06.2017.
The GEO’s planned guidance, which you can open here , essentially endorses that view i.e. that retention of the case law will have effects under the Equality Act 2010 and will enable legal actions for caste discrimination to be brought, while also imposing a public sector equality duty on caste on public authorities.
Impacts - It is unfortunate that some leading organisations - including the Hindu Forum of Britain, National Council of Hindu Temples, ISKCON, BAPS, Ethnic Minority Foundation, the Hindu Lawyers Association, as well as those official bodies and persons including the APPG Hindus, Bob Blackman MP, Lord Gadhia, Lord Popat, and Manoj Ladwa - decided to recommend the case law option to the wider community, which HMG appeared to also advocate. Against better advice, these organisations pushed the view that retaining the case law would be a better choice. The guidance the GEO intends to make public in May 2019 proves the opposite.
What should you do next? - The GEO is willing to accept a response to the draft guidance. ACLC plans to prepare its own Alternative Caste Guidance . At this stage, it is sufficient for you or your organisation to reply indicating interest in being a signatory to the ACLC’s Alternative Guidance. Your consent to be co-signatories will operate at two levels. The initial consent gives you access to the ACLC draft/s. Once the final draft is shared by ACLC you can provide the final consent to be included as signatory to the ACLC’s Alternative Caste Guidance. If you choose not to participate, you will not receive the ACLC draft/s or an option to sign up to it. ACLC will consider any inputs emailed to ACLC you may have on the Caste Guidance. Or you could do your own submission directly to the GEO.
Yes (select as appropriate & email back) – I consent to sign up to ACLC’s Alternative Caste Guidance.
Dhanyavaad and Pranaam
Mukesh Naker - Communications Officer for Anti Caste Legislation Committee
143 Cavendish Rd, Leicester, Leicestershire LE2 7PJ Mobile - +44 77 1313 7425 * Email - firstname.lastname@example.org