Fairer Society

The UK Government tackles issues relating to women’s equality, sexual orientation and transgender equality, at home and around the world.

Fairer work and employment

Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is the difference in the average hourly wage of all men and women across a workforce. If women do more of the less well paid jobs within an organisation than men, the gender pay gap is usually bigger.

  • The UK is one of the first countries in the world to introduce gender pay gap reporting, requiring employers with 250 or more employees to publish their annual gender pay data. Ensuring that women have the same opportunities as men to fulfil their potential in the workplace is a key part of building a country that works for everyone.

    Tackling Sexual Harassment at Work

    The UK Government plans to introduce a Code of Practice so employers better understand their legal responsibilities to protect their staff as part of a package of commitments to tackle sexual harassment at work. A package of 12 announcements has been launched to tackle sexual harassment at work. The package of twelve commitments includes consultations on legal protections and on additional protections for volunteers and interns.

    Pregnancy, Shared Parental Leave and returning to work

    We have also developed schemes to help women back into work after maternity leave and encourage uptake of Shared Parental Leave.

    Disability Confident

    The UK Government’s Disability Confident Scheme encourages employers to offer more opportunities to disabled people and those with health conditions, making the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace.

    The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

    The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage are set by the UK Government. Around 117,000 workers in Scotland benefit from the uplift in the National Living Wage, and an additional 31,000 young workers in Scotland benefit from the uplift in the National Minimum Wage.

    Pension Wise

    Pension Wise is a UK Government service that offers free and impartial guidance about options for your defined contribution pensions.

    The service can help if you:

    • are aged 50 or over
    • have a personal or workplace pension
    • want to make sense of your options.

    International work for equality

    We use the UK’s global power and influence to promote equality for vulnerable and oppressed people all over the world.

    As part of the UK, Scotland is supporting transformative change across the world and making a real difference. UK aid has:

      • Reached 26.8 million people, including at least 8.2 million women and girls, with humanitarian assistance.
      • Supported immunisation of approximately 37.4 million children, saving 610,000 lives, between January 2015 and December 2017.
      • Reached 42 million children under 5, women of childbearing age and adolescent girls through our nutrition-relevant programmes.
      • Supported 14 million women and girls to use modern methods of family planning between April 2017 and March 2018.
      • Supported 11.4 million children to gain a decent education.
      • Supported 40.3 million people to access clean water and/or better sanitation.
      • Continuously supported 27 countries to manage their public finances more transparently since March 2015, and 39 countries in 2017-18 alone.

    In 2012, the UK Government’s Foreign Office launched the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) and since then, the UK has continued to lead global efforts to end the horror of sexual violence in conflict.

Find out more about UK Aid - external link

Have your say: consultations on equalities

Variations in Sex Characteristics: Call for Evidence

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has launched a call for evidence to provide everyone in the United Kingdom, especially people with variations in sex characteristics, with an opportunity to engage with Government and to tell us in detail about their experiences and what they think Government could or should be doing to improve their lives.

The call for evidence will run for 10 until 28 March 2019 and is open to anyone to respond. The government is working closely with support and advocacy organisations, campaigners, academics and clinicians to raise awareness and understand people’s experiences.

Responses are welcomed from people living in all parts of the UK. However, the issues covered include policy areas that are devolved in Scotland.  The UK Government is working closely with the devolved administrations on this call for evidence. The evidence gathered will support and inform the work of the devolved administrations in this area.

Extending protections for pregnant women and new parents returning to work

The UK Government has set out plans to further protect pregnant women and new parents returning to work after having children from unfairly losing their jobs. The legal protections currently enjoyed by parents including women on maternity leave could be extended to other parents, such as those returning from adoption or shared parental leave.

The consultation proposes that the legal protection against redundancy for pregnant women and new mothers on maternity leave is extended so that it continues for up to 6 months after they return to work. It will also seek views on affording the same protection to parents returning from adoption leave or shared parental leave.

Have your say on extending current protections for new parents going back to work. - external link

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