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Gender Equality Scheme 2007-2010

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Gender Equality Scheme 2007-2010 ...

GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL

Gender Equality Scheme 2007-2010

Contents

Foreword 3

Introduction 4

The law 5

Our policies 7

    Vision, Aims and Plans Council Plan and Key Objectives 8

    Consulting on gender equality priorities 9

    Education and gender equality 11

Responsibility for complying with the gender equality duty 14

Gender equality objectives 15

    Appendix 1 - Decision making arrangements Appendix 2 - Policy on Violence against Women Appendix 3 - Action Plan 2007-2010

FOREWORD

    The Council has taken steps to improve gender equality for all staff and knows that it is an important issue for everyone. The immediate concern is equal pay for women and men doing work of equal value, and as a Council we have put in place measures to ensure it.

    The gender equality duty, like the race and disability duties, requires us to think about equality when making decisions and planning services. Specifically, the gender equality duty requires us to prepare and publish a scheme showing how we intend to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment, and promote equality of opportunity between men and women.

    We include in our scheme specific reference to education and schools.

    We will monitor employment, training and service delivery as they are the areas where we must show progress in meeting the gender equality duty.

INTRODUCTION

    Glasgow is Scotland‟s largest city with a population, at the last census, of 577,670. There are roughly equal numbers of men and women: 302,577 people or 52% are women and 275,093 or 48% are men.

    According to the 2001 Census there are 243,295 households in the city. Over 15% or 27,923 are lone parent households, and of these 91.9% or 25,667 households are headed by a woman, and 2,256 or 8.1% are male lone parent households. The census also reveals that there were 23,267 lone pensioner households in 2001, of which 75% or 17,231 are female.

    Analysis by the Scottish Executive published in 2006 shows that there are more women than men in the 20 to 44 and 65 to 89 age groups living in the 15% most deprived areas in the city. The proportion of lone parents living in the deprived areas is one factor explaining the sex ratio in the 20 to 44 age groups, while premature mortality among men is a factor in the 65 to 89 age groups.

    There is evidence of continuing occupational segregation in Scotland. Data published by the EOC show that women held four fifths of personal service and administrative and secretarial jobs, while over 90% of trades people and process, plant and machine operators are men. Similarly, 93% of workers in the construction industry are men.

    According to statistics published by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) the gap between the employment rates for men and women converged to 79% for men and 71% for women of working age in 2005 from 90% for men and 57% women in 1975. Similarly there has been a convergence in average hourly earnings: in 2005 women working full-time earned on average ?11.37 an hour whereas men earned ?12.91, resulting in a gender pay gap of 11.9%. This compares with a pay gap of 31% in 1975.

    A range of health indicators suggests that men are experiencing higher levels of poor health and negative health behaviours in comparison to women. For example, the Greater Glasgow Health and Well-being Survey (2005) indicates that 49% of men are above their ideal weight, compared with 36% of women with the gender gap being

    concentrated in the 25-64 year age group. In addition, the survey suggests that men are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviour (e.g. smoking, binge drinking). According to the Glasgow centre for Population Health‟s report Let Glasgow Flourish (2006), men living in Glasgow have lower life expectancy at birth (69 years) than women (76 years). A quarter of male deaths in the West of Scotland are premature, rising to over 40% in Bridgeton and Dennistoun.

    Women living with or who have experienced male violence are more likely to engage in a range of negative health behaviours such as smoking, alcohol and drug misuse, overeating and sexual risk taking. They are 15 times more likely to misuse drugs, including prescription drugs.

THE LAW

    The Sex Discrimination (Public Authorities) (Statutory Duties) (Scotland) Order 2007 requires the Council to publish a gender equality scheme. That scheme is the Council‟s strategy and action plan that summarises our approach to gender equality. The Order also requires the publication of a separate scheme and equal pay statement by Education Services, which is incorporated in this document.

    The scheme explains the Council‟s vision, aims and plans. It also explains how each of the specific duties, which are described below, will be met.

Context

    Since the 1970s there have been laws to outlaw sex discrimination and ensure equal pay for women and men, as described below.

Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Equal Pay Act 1970

The Sex Discrimination Act defines unlawful discrimination as:

; direct and indirect discrimination on grounds of sex

    ; discrimination on grounds of pregnancy and maternity leave

    ; discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment

    ; direct and indirect discrimination against married persons and civil partners ; victimisation and sexual harassment

    The Equal Pay Act gives a person a right to the same contractual pay and benefits as a person of the opposite sex in the same or connected employment, where the man and the woman are doing:

; the same or broadly similar work

    ; work which has been rated as equivalent under an analytical job evaluation

    scheme

    ; work that is of equal value , that is where the work done is different but

    considered to be equal value or worth in terms of demands such as effort, skill

    and decision-making)

    In spite of these laws there is still unlawful sex discrimination and the gender pay gap remains.

Equality Act 2006 and the Gender Equality Duty

    The Equality Act 2006 amended the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 to place the statutory duty on public authorities, when carrying out their functions, to have due regard to the need to:

; eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment; and

    ; promote equality of opportunity between men and women

    This is the general gender equality duty, which is supported by specific duties that cover among other things equal pay, occupational segregation and education.

    To have due regard means that the weight given to the need to promote gender equality is proportionate to its relevance to a particular function. It will mean giving

    more consideration and resources to functions or policies that have most effect on the public, or the Council‟s employees, or on a section of the public or on a section of the Council‟s employees, for example, transsexual employees.

    The gender equality duty incorporates a statutory duty to pay due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and harassment towards transsexual staff. This applies at present to employment and vocational training.

    The Article 13 Gender Directive, which will come into effect at the end of December 2007, will extend European Commission sex discrimination law to cover goods and services. Transsexual people will be protected against discrimination in service provision. The directive will extend the scope of the gender equality duty to include discrimination and harassment against transsexual people in goods and services.

    The term transsexual is used to describe a person who intends to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone gender reassignment. Such reassignment may or may not involve hormone therapy or surgery. Transgender is a term used to describe people who do not conform to commonly held ideas on gender roles, including transsexual and transvestite people.

Scottish Specific Duties

    The specific duties help the Council to deliver the general duty. They are to:

    ; produce and publish a gender equality scheme by 29 June 2007, showing how

    the Council will meet the general and specific duties, report annually and review

    progress every three years

    ; produce and publish an equal pay statement by 28 September 2007 and report

    on progress every three years

    ; gather and use information on how the Council‟s work, its policies and practices,

    affects women and men

    ; assess the different impact of policies and practices on women and men and use

    this information to inform the Council‟s work

    ; consult employees, service users, trade unions and other stakeholders and take

    account of relevant information in order to identify priorities and determine gender

    equality objectives

    ; plan and take action to achieve gender equality objectives

    Our gender equality objectives are aligned to the specific duties.

OUR POLICIES

    The Council‟s policies that will support the delivery of the gender equality duty are described below.

Equality Policy

The Council‟s Equality Policy, published in 2006, states that we will:

; work to end unlawful discrimination

    ; promote equal opportunities; and

    ; promote good relations between people from different communities.

    As an employer we are committed to ensuring equality in all areas of employment, including recruitment, training, development, and terms and conditions of employment. We recognise that our success depends on recruiting, developing and keeping the right people with suitable skills, knowledge and experience.

    As a service provider we are committed to providing high quality services that everyone can use.

Equal Pay Framework

    The Council acknowledges that there is a gender pay gap both for full-time and part-time staff. The gender pay gap is defined as the average salary of women compared to the average salary of men. We will publish our Equal Pay Statement on 28 September 2007.

    We have developed an equal pay framework on the basis of a comprehensive workforce pay and benefits review, which is now being implemented. The new framework is designed to ensure that unlawful discrimination in employment is eliminated.

Gender based violence

    In the twelve months between April 2005 and March 2006 the police in Glasgow recorded 9,300 incidents of domestic abuse. In almost 9 out of 10 cases the alleged abusers were men. During the same period 148 cases of rape were reported. Conviction rates are low, there were only 18 convictions during that time.

    There is evidence that many cases of such violence are not reported. According to Rape Crisis 6 out of 10 women who contact them for support have not reported the incident to the police.

    We, as the Council, recognise the harm that gender based violence inflicts on women, children and families, and further recognise that much of the violence is inflicted by men on women. We have developed a policy statement on violence against and an action plan.

    The draft Policy on Violence against Women is attached at Appendix 2, and the action plan is incorporated in the gender equality action plan attached at Appendix 3.

VISION, AIMS AND PLANS

Council Plan and Key Objectives

    The current Council Plan is our vision statement for ensuring that Glasgow remains “a world-class city, a competitive and vibrant city, a sustainable city, a cultural city, but one that is true to its roots as a fair and equal city and a caring city”.

The Key Objectives stated in the Plan are to:

    ; Provide accessible, accountable services that are cost effective and offer value

    for money

    ; Create a cleaner, safer city and sustainable environment

    ; Promote social inclusion and tackle poverty and improve health and well being ; Sustain the physical, social, cultural and environmental regeneration of Glasgow ; Develop Glasgow‟s metropolitan role, quality of life, heritage and services

We have worked to achieve our objectives by, among other things:

; Securing new investment and best value

    ; Listening to the views of its service users, citizens, voluntary groups and partner

    agencies

    ; Investing in young people by improving educational and achievement, and

    access to lifelong learning

    ; Working with partners to protect the city‟s children

    ; Creating jobs for local people

    ; Promoting equal opportunities for all and tackling unlawful discrimination

We have detailed strategies and plans to act on these priorities.

    As a result of the local government elections there is a new administration. We will develop a new Council Plan in 2008 for the life of that administration. This scheme will be revised as necessary in 2008 to incorporate any changed Council priorities.

CONSULTING ON GENDER EQUALITY PRIORITIES

    In preparing for the gender equality scheme the Council has consulted staff, service users, employee working groups, trade unions, pupils and other stakeholders on the issues they think are important.

Online questionnaire

    A short questionnaire was posted in December 2006 on our web-site and also sent by email to staff. Having defined gender equality it asked respondents for their views on

; gender equality priorities

    ; groups and organisations that should be consulted about it

    ; the main things that the Council could do to promote gender equality

    They were also asked which Council services they had used in the previous twelve months and their main source of information on the circumstances of men and women in Glasgow.

    Over 870 people completed the questionnaire. Their gender equality priorities are:

; the pay gap between men and women

    ; flexible working practices

    ; the impact of child care responsibilities on career

    ; the impact of other caring responsibilities on career

    ; occupational segregation

    The respondents chose the following as the main things that the Council could do to promote gender equality:

; ensure equal pay

    ; promote flexible working practices

    ; reduce discrimination in employment

    ; have family friendly policies

    ; provide more/better childcare

    ; tackle sexual harassment

Pupil councils

The results of the consultation with pupil councils are reported in the Education and

    Gender Equality section of the scheme.

Focus groups

    Ipsos MORI conducted, on our behalf, five focus groups: three female groups and two male ones. One of the female focus groups was recruited from among South Asian women. The top priorities both for men and women are:

; the pay gap between men and women

    ; flexible working practices

    ; the tendency for some jobs or professions to be dominated by men or women

    Other issues accorded high priority by some participants are women only sessions at leisure centres, safety of public transport at night and being able to have a consultation with a female doctor.

Issues accorded medium to low priority are:

; impact of childcare on career

    ; impact of other caring responsibilities on career

    ; pensions

    ; violence experienced because of gender

Trade Unions

    The Council has consulted with trade unions, including UNISON. UNISON has named its principal priorities as:

; promotion of flexible working practices

    ; family friendly policies, and the impact of child and other caring responsibilities on

    career development

    ; further reduction of the pay gap between men and women

    ; promotion of equal access to training opportunities

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