carrying out impact assessments
prioritising and implementing gender equality objectives
reporting and reviewing.
These steps are covered in more detail in Chapter 3. Although they are a legal requirement for listed public authorities, they can also assist those authorities which are only covered by the general duty.
Other important mechanisms for successful compliance with the duty include:
accountability and leadership
mainstreaming the duty into core functions
ensuring implementation through clear staff roles
staff expertise and training.
Accountability and leadership
Public authorities are responsible for meeting their general and specific duties. Within each public authority, this responsibility will rest with the groups or individuals who are liable (legally responsible) for the authority's acts or failure to act.
As well as being legally liable for meeting the duty, these individuals and senior staff have an important leadership role to play in ensuring the success of the duty. As a matter of good practice, it is recommended that all such individuals should be briefed on their responsibilities under the duty and given regular reports on progress. They should be encouraged to build the duty into strategic planning, keynote speeches and organisational development work, so that a consistent message is given to staff and stakeholders that gender equality is integral to the core business of the authority.
Senior management will be responsible for ensuring that the necessary resources and expertise to meet the duty are made available within the organisation.
Mainstreaming the duty into the core functions of a public authority
The duty requires public authorities to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment and to promote equality of opportunity in all their functions. This includes the high-level functions of a public authority such as business planning, budget allocation, annual reporting and organisational development. These will be particularly important in ensuring that the duty is mainstreamed into the day-to-day workings of the public authority, is not marginalised, and results in changes in the most relevant areas of the authority's work.