Women’s unit and DTI to share equal ops duties

The Government has finally decided to split the responsibility for equal
opportunities between the Cabinet Office’s Women and Equality Unit and the DTI.

The unit will deal with women’s employment and pay, and the DTI is setting
up Equality Direct – an advisory service on equal opportunity issues.

John Philpott, the CIPD’s chief economist, criticised the Government for
dragging its heels. He said, "Equal opportunities should have been
outlined at the same time that ministerial responsibilities were announced, not
at Parliament last week."

Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for the Department of Work and
Pensions, attempted last week to clear up employers’ confusion over the
structure of his new department.

Speaking a seminar held by think-tank IPPR, Darling said his department
combines the Employment Service with Social Services, signalling a new approach
to welfare.

He said, "Our main objective is to get people into work – the
alternative is to damn another generation to being out of work. We need to get
rid of the distinction between those signing on to work and those on benefits.

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