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Gender Equality

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to ensure that private organisations contracted to work (a) in his Department and (b) for non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies for which his Department is responsible are aware of their duties under gender equality legislation when exercising public functions on behalf of public bodies. (101516)

The Treasury and its non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies incorporate terms and conditions into some or all of their contracts to ensure they can assess a private organisation’s equal opportunity policies and comply with gender legislation.

Details of such practice varies across the Treasury group and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

From 6 April 2007, private sector organisations, when carrying out functions of a public nature on behalf of public authorities, will be required to comply with the general gender equality duty to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and harassment and promote equality of opportunity between women and men. Documentation will refer to the Equal Opportunities Commission's code of practice of the gender equality duty and any further EOC guidance when available.