Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Silk Purse from a Sow's Ear
Well, who'd'v'thunk it? Something useful has come from the Equalities Act debacle!
For newer readers, we have been campaigning for years, to get at least equivalent protection for breastfeeding in public spaces in England & Wales, and Northern Ireland, as exist in very fortunate Scotland.
The last Labour Government put together a huge Equalities Act, with lots of decent legislation. But the breastfeeding protection was a joke - nothing at all in public spaces, and mothers had to sue privately if it was goods and services. Loads of confusion about ages and pathways to sue.
And it's such a nice however... UK Gov has published this handy dandy gorgeous little leaflet. It's a business handy guide to the Equalities Act. As such, it is very condensed, and contains bullet points, not long detail.
So it contains, on page 4, this LOVELY detail:
The Act has specifically clarified that it is unlawful to discriminate against a woman because she is breastfeeding.
Ensure that women to whom you are providing goods, facilities and services are able to breastfeed should they so wish.
Saul, a bus driver, tells Kate, who is breastfeeding on the bus, that if she does not either stop or get off the bus she could be arrested for indecency. This is not only inaccurate, but is unlawful direct discrimination, and the company will be liable under the Equality Act 2010 unless it can show that it has taken all reasonable steps to stop the driver from acting in this way. Saul will be liable whether or not his employer is.
So there you go mothers. Go to the website, print off this nice little leaflet, and fold it into your bag, pocket or changing stuff. Print off several, Highlight the correct bit. Hand them out!
Yes, it is missing essential detail. But it does so in a way that is so very very very useful. For scaring the arrogance out of people in shops and cafes!
Crown copyright leaflet, July 2010 JN40172 What an amazing little resource you are! :-)