Plans: Lib Dem Lynne Featherstone says all public staff should be sent a questionnaire about their sexuality
Lib Dem equalities minister Lynne Featherstone says all public sector organisations should consider sending ‘diversity monitoring forms’ to staff to prove they are treating all sections of society fairly.
From April, public bodies will be subject to the Equality Act – passed by Labour but taken up enthusiastically by the Coalition – which will force them to consider the impact of everything they do on the diversity of the people they serve or employ.
Miss Featherstone supports sending staff a questionnaire about their sexuality and even whether they have had a sex change.
Her plans are suggested in a guide to how public bodies should comply with the Act. Critics fear it will lead to an avalanche of bureaucracy and expense just as jobs are under threat and budgets are slashed.
One example given in the document is banning police from imposing height restrictions because they may be discriminatory to women.
It also says that complying with the equality duty ‘may involve treating some people better than others, as far as this is allowed by discrimination law’.