§ Mr. Maclennan
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how far the employment provisions 69W of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 have been implemented in respect of the recruitment, training, promotion, assignment of duties and other employment opportunities of women in the police service in England and Wales;
(2) how far an individual's sex is treated as a genuine occupational qualification for the purpose of employment in the police service.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The Sex Discrimination Act applies to the police service with certain specified exceptions, including different minimum heights for male and female police officers. There are special provisions for maternity leave and women pay lower contributions because the police pension scheme makes no provision for the widowers of women police officers, other than in very exceptional circumstances. Otherwise, conditions of service for men and women are the same. An individual's sex is not treated as a genuine occupational qualification for the purpose of employment in the police service. Male and female police officers must compete on equal terms for promotion to higher ranks. It is the responsibility of chief officers to decide how best to allocate their officers to police duties. Ability, not sex, should be the criterion for the allocation.