Government Departments: Equality

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 3rd June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place in (1) Government departments, and (2) Government-funded institutions, to ensure that no person is discriminated against on the grounds of (a) age, (b) disability, (c) marriage and civil partnership, (d) pregnancy and maternity, (e) race, (f) religion or belief, (g) sex, and (h) sexual orientation.

Photo of Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they provide to (1) Government departments, and (2) Government-funded institutions, about providing services for those who (1) self-identify their gender, and (2) are protected under the characteristics outlined in the Equality Act 2010 that are not related to gender transition.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Equality Act 2010, which applies to all employers and providers of services and functions including Government departments and Government funded institutions, proscribes discrimination on the grounds of each of the protected characteristics listed in the Question.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced statutory codes to support understanding of the Equality Act 2010, including on Employment and Services, Public Functions and Associations.

In addition, under the Public Sector Equality Duty, set out in the Equality Act 2010, all public authorities and those delivering public functions must have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act; advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. The protected characteristics covered by the duty include all those listed in the Question.

In 2015, GEO published a guide on ‘Providing services for transgender customers’, which was applicable, but not limited, to the public sector. There are many examples of Government produced guidance to help with the provision of services that take protected characteristics into account, such as the Inclusive Transport Strategy and www.gov.uk guidance on disability and pregnancy.

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