Headlines: February 17th, 2000

Equality Direct will be launched shortly to give employers of all sizes information about equality issues. It will offer practical advice on areas such as disability, race and sex equality. There will be advice on how better to balance work and home life, and how to tackle disability discrimination. The service will be particularly helpful for small businesses by helping employers assess their equality needs in a single call. It will also offer easy access to the wider system of specialist advice on equality matters, as well as providing examples of good practice to follow.The service will be delivered by phone and the Internet. The website will contain a toolkit that will give businesses simple and clear advice on how to maximise the potential of their workforce.

Equality Direct will be validated by all government departments with a policy interest, together with the three equality commissions. The pilot project will also encourage an active partnership between agencies offering advice and information to businesses about equality issues at local level.