Helping public authorities meet the gender equality duty
The EOC and subsequently CEHR will work with major players in the public sector, particularly key intermediary bodies and inspectorates, to:
develop guidance and good practice
monitor and spread good practice
provide practical guidance
monitor progress and compliance with the duty.
The EOC will be issuing non-statutory guidance to supplement this Code, to cover particular parts of the public sector, aspects of the duty such as gender impact assessment and how the duty applies to procurement.
The extent to which public authorities have complied with the duty is likely to be assessed by the EOC on the following criteria:
Information: does the public authority have the information which allows it to understand the impact of its work on women and on men (including transsexual women and men in respect of employment and vocational training – including further and higher education.)?
Involvement: have the relevant people inside and outside the authority been involved in providing information and identifying gender equality priorities?
Transparency: has information on decision-making processes, priorities, actions and progress been widely available through appropriate channels and in a variety of formats?
Proportionality: in addressing the duty, has the public authority put its effort and resources where they will have most impact on gender equality (and have they done enough to find out what the most significant issues are)?
Effectiveness: has action been taken and has it delivered the required outcomes, leading to less discrimination and greater gender equality?
The EOC and CEHR will use their promotional and enforcement powers to ensure public authorities meet the gender duty. This Chapter explains the relevant powers in more detail.
The role of audit and inspection bodies
Agencies that audit or inspect public authorities are bound by the duty to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment and promote equality of opportunity between men and women in all aspects of their work. What would be required of an audit or inspection body in fulfilling this duty will depend upon