Incorrect guidance was published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Government Equalities Office (GEO).
Due to AEA’s intervention, in July and August 2020 a large number of EHRC guidance documents were amended or removed entirely from its website. There was no public announcement and external organisation were not notified. The guidance had been in place for 10 years. GEO’s guidance has existed for 6 years but is currently under review.
However, that incorrect guidance continues to be disseminated by management consultancies and training agencies.
As a consequence, misguidance is reflected in the policies and practices of countless companies. Unwittingly, such organisations are at risk of reputational hard and may well be legally exposed.
EHRC guidance was aimed at all types of organisations, including the private sector.
EHRC’s guidance routinely used the term ‘gender’ – which isn’t a protected characteristic – instead of ‘sex. Including, confusingly, in sections about service provision and the single-sex exception. That incorrect usage has been amended.
Additionally, many guidance documents contained variations of this statement:
‘Where someone has a gender recognition certificate they should be treated in their acquired gender for all purposes and therefore should not be excluded from single-sex services.’
That breached the 2010 Equality Act and [thanks to AEA’s interventions] was removed from guidance.
Someone with a GRC can be lawfully excluded, provided it is a proportionate means to achieve a legitimate aim.
An example of now amended guidance can be seen here: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance-businesses