Aberdeenshire UNISON

New Gender Equality Duty

Promoting Equality

The Gender Equality Duty is the biggest change in sex equality legislation in 30 years and will mean that public authorities must actively promote equality between men and women and get rid of sex discrimination. It is part of the new Equality Act and comes into force in April 2007.

So what will our employers have to do?

Public sector employers and service providers (including voluntary organisations) will need to radically rethink what they do and how services are delivered.

The core of the gender duty is "the general duty" on public sector employers to get rid of discrimination and harassment and to make sure that men and women have equal opportunity.

The second aspect outlines "specific duties" setting out the steps public authorities must take to deliver on this responsibility. They must:

  • publish an action plan setting out how they will do this. This will need to be monitored, and must be reviewed every 3 years.
  • develop an equal pay policy and review it regularly to make sure it is working.
  • conduct gender impact assessments of all law and policy developments to make sure that they affect men and women equally.
  • consult employees, service users and other key people in doing all this.

All public authorities, including Aberdeenshire Council, will have to have all this completed by the the time the Gender Equality Duty becomes law on 7th April 2007.

For further information go to: