In April 2011 the new public sector Equality Duty came into force. Its aim is for public bodies to consider the needs of people – employees and service users - with protected characteristics. Public bodies and authorities are now required to report at least annually how policies and practices are affecting staff and service users with different protected characteristics. According to Michelle Gray, gender questions have largely not taken into account different gender identities and as such they are incomplete and insensitive. In November 2010, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) commissioned NatCen to carry out a research study to develop and cognitively test new gender identity questions that can be used by public bodies when carrying out equality monitoring.  

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Tags: EHRC, Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Equality Duty, gender, transgender