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Does anyone fancy emailing the DWP?

(33 Posts)
sashh Wed 10-Feb-21 08:00:33

As some of you know the DWP has removed 'sex' from its equality statement, I have received yet another reply telling me 'gender is more inclusive'

I have sent the following email - name redacted obviously but to ocu.team3@dwp.gov.uk -this is my local team, the others are

OCU1 – Disability - PIP/DLA/CA/AA cases
o OCU2 – North East England
o OCU3 – West Midlands
o OCU4 – North Central
o OCU5 – North West England
o OCU6 – London & Essex
o OCU7 – North & East Midlands
o OCU8 - Wales
o OCU9 – South East England
o OCU10 – South West England
o OCU11 – Scotland
o OCU12 – Retirement Services

Dear X, thank you for your letter dated 25 January 2021, your ref redacted

I am rather puzzled by your reply. You state that 'gender' is to be 'as inclusive as possible'. Every single human being in the world has a sex (male, female or intersex) but not everyone has a gender. I do not have a gender and an increasing number of people are rejecting this social construct due to 'gender stereotypes' which are damaging for everyone.

So how does removing a term, identified in law, from your equality statement and substituting one that is offensive and damaging correspond with 'inclusivity'.

On a further note, the Equality Act is about being 'fair' not 'inclusive', this is for many reasons, eg some people are exempt from the act due to clashes between the rights of groups with 'protected characteristics' eg to learn to drive a car you must be at least 17 years old (or 16 in some circumstances), you must also be able to see.

You are still discriminating against me because I have a sex.

I look forward to your explanation.

OP’s posts: |
Biscuitsanddoombar Wed 10-Feb-21 08:12:25

I couldn’t give a toss whether they think gender is ‘more inclusive’! sex is the protected characteristic under the equality act and sex is the data they should be collecting as a public body. Organisations can’t just decide which bits of laws they’ll comply with & which bits they won’t!

sashh Wed 10-Feb-21 08:16:54

@Biscuitsanddoombar Yes that is what I have been saying since September.

They closed my case, I went to the Sec of state who sent it back to the DWP

OP’s posts: |
Biscuitsanddoombar Wed 10-Feb-21 08:22:08

Bloody hell, they’re so stonewalled aren’t they!

I just do not understand how failing to record the data required of them by law is deemed acceptable

Would the ombudsman be a possibility?

sashh Wed 10-Feb-21 08:24:32

I just do not understand how failing to record the data required of them by law is deemed acceptable

And being a public body they have a 'duty' to:

Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

OP’s posts: |
highame Wed 10-Feb-21 08:25:37

Like the way you've put that op

dancemom Wed 10-Feb-21 08:48:37

Thank you for doing this OP, if we all roll over and accept this we will slowly be erased

sashh Wed 10-Feb-21 09:00:15

@dancemom and @highame thanks. I do feel a bit like banging my head against a brick wall.

OP’s posts: |
TheLaughingGenome Wed 10-Feb-21 09:02:35

Thank you for doing this, OP. I'll be emailing.

sashh Wed 10-Feb-21 11:57:05

@TheLaughingGenome thank you, I'm hoping a 'drip drip' effect will work.

OP’s posts: |
nothingcomestonothing Wed 10-Feb-21 15:53:26

Emailed today, inviting them to explain why they think they can unilaterally decide to change a characteristic protected by law to a social construct which has no legal definition. Can't wait for the reply.

EwwSprouts Wed 10-Feb-21 16:16:06

^^Fab succinct question.

HeadIsFucked Wed 10-Feb-21 16:24:55

Previous correspondance with them says, this is bloody pointless. Until they have an issue, where they are actually taken to court for failing to record sex, I cannot see any changes. Surely they can see how this is problematic though, especially when the law requires them to have data on sex (as far as I am aware?!)

MerchedCymru Wed 10-Feb-21 16:59:46

Might be worth telling Liz Truss and Baroness Nicholson? DWP might take marginally more notice of them.

NeverTrustaRabbit Wed 10-Feb-21 17:09:38

@sashh
Why do you think this? Bit saying you're wrong l, just seeking to understand more.

The equality statement refers to sex and gender identity. The PSED focuses on the protected characteristics of sex

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions/about/equality-and-diversity

MNnicknameforCVthreads Wed 10-Feb-21 19:12:59

I’d like to email but like the PP would like to understand better. Can anyone post a link to the offending statement? Thank you

ArabellaScott Wed 10-Feb-21 19:47:08

nothingcomestonothing

Emailed today, inviting them to explain why they think they can unilaterally decide to change a characteristic protected by law to a social construct which has no legal definition. Can't wait for the reply.

This is precisely the issue.

AnyOldPrion Wed 10-Feb-21 20:06:19

Could someone provide a link please, or show where this is happening? The only site I have been able to find is the one linked by NeverTrustaRabbit above.

donquixotedelamancha Wed 10-Feb-21 20:44:02

Well done on the effort OP. Do you have a link to the equality statement?

Every single human being in the world has a sex (male, female or intersex)

Forgive my pedantry but being 'intersex' isn't a sex. People with disorders of sexual development are still male or female it's just that (very rarely) it may be hard to tell or possibly require surgery to correct congenital abnormalities in genitailia.

nothingcomestonothing Wed 10-Feb-21 22:26:55

I googled and got FOI request 4129, 'Equality Act related information and guidance' which replaces sex with gender, but can't seem to attach it. There's also this: www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/610464/response/1463359/attach/html/3/Sex.pdf.html which laughably is entitled 'sex' and then says 'gender' throughout without mentioning sex once.

sashh Thu 11-Feb-21 05:05:12

Link to my original post, it has a photo of the statement, this statement is on correspondence from the DWP.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3942351-The-DWP-have-fallen#prettyPhoto

Why do you think this? Bit saying you're wrong l, just seeking to understand more.

Due to correspondence with the DWP where they keep insisting gender is 'more inclusive'

Pic of the latest letter.

OP’s posts: |
sashh Thu 11-Feb-21 05:06:38

@donquixotedelamancha

Yes I realise that, I'm just preempting their reply.

Thank you again to everyone.

OP’s posts: |
MNnicknameforCVthreads Thu 11-Feb-21 09:03:51

nothingcomestonothing

I googled and got FOI request 4129, 'Equality Act related information and guidance' which replaces sex with gender, but can't seem to attach it. There's also this: www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/610464/response/1463359/attach/html/3/Sex.pdf.html which laughably is entitled 'sex' and then says 'gender' throughout without mentioning sex once.

That is laughable!

I think I’ll find it hard to write though as the mainstream text (linked by NeverTrust) is ok.

I’d definitely write if I’d received that letter though OP. Good work. And good luck. Keep us posted.

sashh Thu 11-Feb-21 09:40:04

@MNnicknameforCVthreads

Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
ForenameSurname Thu 11-Feb-21 09:45:19

I sent an email of complaint echoing yours to my local team, @sashh. It's important to let them know that they are being closely watched and monitored, and that they aren't going to get away with little sleights of hand like this.

Great work! Keep us updated!

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