Equality, bargaining and equality impact assessments

Equality bargaining is defined as "the collective negotiation of provisions that are of a particular interest or benefit to disadvantaged or under-represented groups and/or are likely to facilitate equality at work which can then bring about diversity".

Low pay: a gender issue

Tackling low pay is a traditional union bargaining objective as the eradication of low pay would be expected to be of interest and benefit to the entire workforce.

However, a positive bargaining outcome or improvement in pay levels may be disproportionate benefit to women in situations where they are over-represented in low paid work. Therefore, tackling low pay promotes gender equality and this is an unintended consequence of collective bargaining.

Collective agreements, which do not explicitly promote equality, may be indirectly discriminatory.

Public sector duty

The existing public sector equality duties require Civil Service and NDPB departments to show due regard, when developing new policies or processes, on the impact of the proposals to those with protected characteristics.

This guidance is designed to help PCS Representatives, Branches, Groups, Nations and Full Time Officers negotiate and organise around Public Sector Equality Duty. This guidance should also help to ensure that:

  • Strategies, policies and services are free from discrimination;
  • When entering into negotiations your group / organisation complies with current equality legislation;
  • That due regard is given to equality in decision making and subsequent processes;
  • Opportunities for promoting equality are identified.


Updated 23 Feb 2017

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