gender equality duty

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The gender equality duty is a statutory requirement placed on public authorities in England, Scotland, and Wales in 2007 to take action to eliminate sex discrimination and harassment and to promote equality between women and men, including in their capacity as employees and workers. The duty is enforced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and is backed up with guidance and a code of practice. The duty covers public sector employers and private and voluntary organizations that undertake public functions. Under the duty, public authorities are encouraged to develop a gender equality scheme that should be based on an equality audit and reviewed on an annual basis. They should also seek to identify the causes of the gender pay gap and take action to eliminate it, effectively to undertake an equal pay audit. In developing and reviewing a gender equality scheme, it is recommended that public authorities consult with stakeholders, including trade unions. The gender equality duty is one of three equality duties that cover public authorities in Britain, the others relating to disability and race.

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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