84General duty to promote equality, &c.E+W+S
(1)In the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 the following shall be inserted at the beginning of Part VIII (supplemental)—
“76APublic authorities: general statutory duty
(1)A public authority shall in carrying out its functions have due regard to the need—
(a)to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment, and
(b)to promote equality of opportunity between men and women.
(2)In subsection (1)—
(a)“public authority” includes any person who has functions of a public nature (subject to subsections (3) and (4)),
(b)“functions” means functions of a public nature, and
(c)the reference to unlawful discrimination shall be treated as including a reference to contravention of terms of contracts having effect in accordance with an equality clause within the meaning of section 1 of the Equal Pay Act 1970 (c. 41).
(3)The duty in subsection (1) shall not apply to—
(a)the House of Commons,
(b)the House of Lords,
(c)the Scottish Parliament,
(d)the General Synod of the Church of England,
(e)the Security Service,
(f)the Secret Intelligence Service,
(g)the Government Communications Headquarters,
(h)a part of the armed forces of the Crown which is, in accordance with a requirement of the Secretary of State, assisting the Government Communications Headquarters, or
(i)a person specified for the purpose of this paragraph by order of the Secretary of State (and a person may be specified generally or only in respect of specified functions).
(4)The duty in subsection (1) shall not apply to the exercise of—
(a)a function in connection with proceedings in the House of Commons or the House of Lords,
(b)a function in connection with proceedings in the Scottish Parliament (other than a function of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body),
(c)a judicial function (whether in connection with a court or a tribunal),
(d)a function exercised on behalf of or on the instructions of a person exercising a judicial function (whether in connection with a court or a tribunal), or
(e)a function specified for the purpose of this paragraph by order of the Secretary of State.
(5)Subsection (1)(b) is without prejudice to the effect of any exception to or limitation of the law about sex discrimination.
(6)A failure in respect of performance of the duty under subsection (1) does not confer a cause of action at private law.”
(2)In section 81 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (c. 65) (orders) after subsection (2A) (inserted by section 83 above) insert—
“(2B)An order under section 76A(3)(i) or (4)(e) may not be made unless the Secretary of State has consulted the Commission.”
(3)In section 85 of that Act (Crown application) after subsection (3A) (inserted by section 83 above) insert—
“(3B)Section 76A binds the Crown.”
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