The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has today launched a three-month consultation on the Gender Equality Duty.
The EOC is encouraging public sector bodies to participate as fully as they can in the consultation, to ensure the new law is workable in practice and delivers real benefits for all who use and are employed by the public sector.
The new law, which will come into force in April 2007, has the potential to be the most significant change to gender equality legislation in 30 years, according to the EOC.
It will require public bodies to design their employment policies and recruitment practices, as well as their services and policies, with the different needs of men and women in mind.
It could have a major impact on employment practice across the public sector, and, it is hoped, help close the pay gap between men and women which still exists in this sector.
Jenny Watson, chair of the EOC, said: "Addressing gender equality must be about taking action to eliminate discrimination. Those who get this right, and who use the gender duty to rethink the way they employ and manage their staff, will see real benefits in terms of recruitment, retention, staff satisfaction and overall performance.
"But we need to make sure the duty is workable and do-able - we need the views of practitioners within the sector. I hope as many people as possible will contribute to our consultation."