Gender Equality Duty
The Equality Act 2006 established a Gender Equality Duty (GED) which places a statutory duty on public bodies* to have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate discrimination and harassment that is unlawful under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, and discrimination that is unlawful under the Equal Pay Act 1970
- promote equality of opportunity between men and women
The GED came into effect on 30th April 2007 in England, Scotland and Wales. Similar legislation came into effect in N. Ireland on 1st January 2007.
*in the context of the GED, any organisation which carries out functions of a public nature is included in the definition of a public authority (thereby including General Practices); such organisations are required to conform to the 'general duty'. Many public bodies (including Primary Care Organisations) are required to conform to more onerous 'specific duties'.
What are the implications for Practices of conforming to the 'general duty'?
To conform to the 'general duty' Practices must (in both service provision and in their employment procedures) have regard to the elimination of unlawful discrimination and harassment, and the promotion of equality of opportunity between men and women. This may be achieved through the existence and enforcement of the following:
- an Equal Opportunities/Anti-Discrimination (Employment) Policy
- a Bullying and Harassment Policy
- an Equal Opportunities/Anti-Discrimination (Service Provision) Policy
Downloadable drafts of these three policies are in the Members Library - go there. Subscribers to the Members section of this website will find more details about discrimination in employment in the Discrimination Zone - go there.
An article on the GED written for FPM by - GO
Discrimination legislation main page - GO
Equality and Human Rights Commission information on the Gender Equality Duty - GO