§ Mr. Willis
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the Government are committed to implementing Article 13 of the EC Employment Directive by 2 December 2003; and what plans the Government have to ensure that faith schools comply.170W
§ Alan Johnson
[holding answer 30 October 2001]: We intend to implement the Directive's provisions on religion or belief and on sexual orientation by 2 December 2003; and those on disability and age by 2 December 2006. The implementing legislation will cover all employers, including faith schools.
We believe the current arrangements for the employment of teachers at state maintained religious schools, as set out in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (sections 58–60), are compatible with the requirements of the Directive, given the special provisions within the Directive for organisations whose ethos is based on religion or belief.
We will publish a consultation document about our plans for new legislation within the next three months. We intend to issue guidance to help employers understand the new provisions.