Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Press Notice 2 (2002-03)

Session 2002-03            11 June 2003

Committee to report on employment equality regulations

The Joint Committee has completed its consideration of the draft Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the draft Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003, which were laid before Parliament on 8th May.

The Committee has decided to draw the special attention of both Houses to the draft Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003. 

The grounds on which the Committee has decided to report the draft Regulations, and its reasons for doing so, will be fully set out in its Twenty-first Report.  The report  (ref. HC 96-xxi) will be published at 10.00 am on Friday 13 June. 

Copies of the report may be purchased from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, SW1A 2JX, Tel 020 7219 3890) or from any  Stationery Office outlet (Parliamentary Hotline 0845 702 3474).  It will also be available on the Committee=s publications website ( from 3.30 pm on the day of publication.

Notes for Editors:

1. The Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments is appointed by both Houses to examine statutory instruments laid before Parliament on a number of specified technical grounds.  Its terms of reference are set out in its Standing Orders (House of Commons Standing Order No. 151 and House of Lords Standing Order No. 74). 

2. The Joint Committee may report to both Houses on matters arising from its terms of reference. It can require Departments to send officials to appear before it in order to explain statutory instruments under consideration.  It may not report on the merits of any statutory instrument or the policy which lies behind an instrument. It does not have the power to block the passage of statutory instruments through Parliament.

3. The Joint Committee considers on average 1500 instruments per session, and will, in a typical session, draw between 50 and 100 of these to the special attention of both Houses on a variety of grounds.

4. The Regulations in question are intended to implement in part the provisions of EC Directive 2000/78/EC (establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation) in UK law. They are draft instruments subject to affirmative resolution (i.e. they must be approved by both Houses before they are made law). 

5. The draft Regulations are set down for debate in the House of Lords on Tuesday 17 June.  It is expected that they will be debated in Standing Committee in the House of Commons on Tuesday 17 June.