Whilst the news coverage has been focussing on golf clubs, the review of Equality legislation has much wider implications. It will mean that mixed membership clubs cannot treat their male and female members differently. It doesn’t, sadly, force “male only” clubs like the the Athanaeum to accept female members.
The legislation will aim to simplify the complex web of legislation currently in force which includes nine pieces of legislation and over ninety statutory instruments along with guidance documents. As well as the gender legislation it will also include reforms to protect disabled tenants and prevent age discrimination. Landlords will have to fit enabling equipment if requested by a tenant but the tenant will have to pay. Companies will also no longer be able to refuse a service (like a loan or store card) only on the basis of age, allowing older people with good incomes to equal access to those services.
A source at the Department of Communities and Local Government, which is publishing today’s green paper, said: “We firmly believe that people being treated as second class citizens when a club is open to all is simply not on.”