the exercise of statutory duty or statutory powers or discretion in certain circumstances (for example, a Secretary of State refusing to give leave to enter or remain under immigration provisions).
A fuller description of public functions and exceptions can be found in Chapter 6 and further exceptions to these provisions are set out in Appendix F.
Meeting the gender equality duty in employment
To meet the gender equality duty as an employer, a public authority will need to ensure that it has due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment in its employment practices and actively promotes gender equality within its workforce. This includes discrimination and harassment of transsexual people on grounds of their gender reassignment.
In practice this will involve a cyclical process of: data collection, analysis of data, developing an action plan, implementing the plan and monitoring the outcomes to inform further action. It is recommended that the public authority involves the workforce in the process and agrees a timescale over which it will take action. Doing this will not only enable that authority to meet its obligations under the duty, but will also improve its ability to recruit and retain staff and improve service delivery. For more detail on data collection, see Chapter 3.
The following issues are usually the most common ones to be considered when a public authority is deciding employment priorities for action:
ensuring fair recruitment processes
avoiding concentration of women and men into particular areas of work and addressing it where it already exists ('occupational segregation')
promoting and managing flexible working
ensuring high-level part-time work and supporting part-time workers
managing leave for parents and carers
managing pregnancy and return from maternity leave
eliminating harassment including sexual harassment
eliminating discrimination against, and harassment of, transsexual staff and potential staff
grievance and disciplinary procedures
work-based training opportunities.
London Underground has targeted women in its recruitment of train drivers as part of a strategy that identified the lack of gender balance in the workforce as a central factor affecting its ability to move from being an asset-based organisation to a customer-focused organisation. In an 18-month campaign, it increased the number of female tube drivers from 75 to 167. It broadened its recruitment advertising by placing an advertisement in Cosmopolitan magazine,