- Aug 2018
Wycombe District Council have got this wring. Gender ius NOT a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, sex is.
According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission:
'Gender’ refers to socially constructed roles of women and men and/or an individual’s conception of their identity. The term is often used interchangeably with ‘sex’, partly in recognition that much of the inequality between women and men is driven by underlying social and power structures rather than by biological sex. Although the Equality Act protects people from discrimination because of their sex, other UK legislation (such as the regulations requiring employers to publish their gender pay gap) refers to gender. This may cause confusion in some circumstances.
Language and the meaning of words are important and proper understanding of these terms is vital so that staff and the public are aware of what rights they have and what your Public Sector Equality Duty is.
Mis-stating the protected characteristics under the Act cannot give a good impression to the public and it can only reflect poorly on the organisation. Any confusion or inconsistency over meaning of undefined terms may prevent people from accessing their rights under the law.