As part of the Social Liberal Forum conference last weekend, I took part in a blogger interview with Vince Cable and took the chance to ask him about his attitude towards equalities issues. My reason for asking is that I’ve always viewed Vince as a firm liberal on such matters (perhaps in part because of his own personal history) but there have been plenty of murmurings that his department are rather keen on abolishing regulations in this field.
His answer was very firm, saying he and the party is “completely committed to the equalities agenda and must remain so”. He pointed to steps his department has been taking, particularly on parental leave and on increasing the number of women on boards (a measure which, as I pointed out, there is increasing evidence to show leads to improved company performance as more diverse boards are more successful).
The “however” came with his view on some existing regulation, which Vince Cable said has the right principles but is too bureaucratic in its approach. He also repeated his concerns about how easy it is for someone to take an employer through a costly tribunal process.
For links to the other accounts of the interview see the Social Liberal Forum website.