Add a note hereKey points
§  Add a note hereThe Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) was established under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 to review the working of that Act (and the Equal Pay Act 1970), to work towards the elimination of discrimination in employment and other fields, and to promote equality of opportunity between men and women generally.
§  Add a note hereThe Commission may issue codes of practice containing practical guidance for employers and employees alike. It may conduct a formal investigation of an employer's activities if it has reason to suspect that he is contravening either the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 or the Equal Pay Act 1970. It may require an employer to produce documentary evidence of his employment policies and practices.
§  Add a note hereThe Code of Practice for the Elimination of Discrimination on the Grounds of Sex and Marriage, and the Promotion of Equality in Employment came into effect on 30 April 1985, and is available from the Stationery Office. The code gives guidance on steps to be taken in areas such as the recruitment, selection, training, transfer and promotion of employees, and urges employers to formulate and administer equal opportunities policies within their organisations. A more recent Code of Practice on Equal Pay came into force on 26 March 1997.
§  Add a note hereIf satisfied that an employer has contravened the law, the Commission may serve a so-called Non-Discrimination Notice on that employer requiring him to cease his unlawful practices and to furnish evidence of his compliance with the terms of the Notice over a period of five years.
§  Add a note hereShould the employer continue to contravene the terms of a Non- Discrimination Notice, the Commission may seek a finding from an employment tribunal and, ultimately, an injunction from a county or sheriff court. An employer has six weeks within which to appeal to an employment tribunal against the service of a Non-Discrimination Notice.
§  Add a note hereThe EOC also deals with discriminatory advertisements placed in newspapers and other media. It may either investigate an alleged unlawful advertisement and serve a Non-Discrimination Notice on the offender (whether employer or publisher) or apply to a county court (or sheriff court) for an injunction to prevent any further contravention of the 1975 Act.
§  Add a note hereThe Commission may also (and often does) provide assistance to individual employees who are contemplating making a complaint to an employment tribunal. In some cases, it will represent those employees before an employment tribunal.
Add a note hereAddresses
§  Add a note hereThe Head Office of the EOC is in Manchester, at:
Add a note hereEqual Opportunities Commission
Add a note hereArndale House
Arndale Centre
M4 3EQ
Add a note hereTelephone: 0161 833 9244
Fax: 0161 838 8312
§  Add a note hereAlso at:
§  Add a note hereEOC Scotland (Tel: 0141 248 5833)
EOC Wales (Tel: 029 2034 3552