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The mental health charity Mind has responded to an announcement by the Government that, following on from its Red Tape Challenge, it intends to introduce a number of reforms to simplify the Equality Act and remove unnecessary legislation.
Mind’s Chief Executive, Paul Farmer, said:
“In trying to cut through the administrative burden on businesses it is vital that important regulations that protect the employment rights of people with mental health problems are not lost.
"We have only just seen an end to the use of unfair pre-employment questionnaires that allowed employers to ask questions about someone’s health and disability and screen out candidates that had a history of mental health problems.
"We must not return to this discriminatory practice and we urge the Government to publicly commit to retaining the ban on pre-employment questionnaires.
"Equalities legislation must be as effective as possible but we are concerned that the proposed review of the Public Sector Equality Duty may lead to a diminishing of Government responsibility to fully consider protected groups.
"Cuts to benefits, legal aid and social care are already falling disproportionately on people with mental health problems so now more than ever it’s important for the Government to consider the protection of all disabled people and enshrine an equalities approach.”