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Gender Equality Duty Sam Smethers, EOC July 11 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender Equality Duty Sam Smethers, EOC July 11 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender Equality Duty Sam Smethers, EOC July 11 2007

2 Gender Equality Duty A statutory duty on all GB public authorities to have due regard to the need: -to eliminate unlawful discrimination (including pay) and harassment -to promote equality of opportunity between men and women Came into force on April 6 2007

3 Obligations Listed public bodies in England must: –Set and implement gender equality objectives, through consultation and information collection –Consult relevant stakeholders, including unions –Have published a gender equality scheme (may include action on gender pay gap – but strengthened when combined with due regard in general duty) –Gender impact assess all current and new policies –Implement the actions within three years –Report against the scheme every year and review the scheme at least every three years

4 Enforcement Chapter 4 of the Code of Practice General & specific duties are legally enforceable –General duty, through judicial review –Both, through compliance notices by EOC/CEHR –But not by individuals in tribunal

5 Enforcement Likely assessment criteria include: Information Involvement Transparency Proportionality Effectiveness

6 Progress Since April Developed a two-phase assessment process Three part strategy – strategic bodies, bodies with poor gender equality records, equal pay in local government Range of quality – some GES strong, others weaker Engaging with the voluntary sector and inspectorates More leadership from central government is required

7 Voluntary Sector Important role in putting pressure on public bodies Should have been consulted in setting objectives Speaking to vol sec and unions to encourage them to take the GED forward – esp. through GIA process Created specific guidance for the vol sec Developed “template letters” Developing a package linking the GED to VaW

8 Next Steps - DLR Concerns about the public sector duty that is proposed - weaker Lack of any action on equal pay Consultation ends 4 September

9 Next steps - CEHR Takes over from EOC, CRE and DRC on 1 st October Head of legal strategy now in place – John Wadham Unclear yet on what the CEHR’s enforcement strategy on the duties will be All to play for

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