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Public Sector Equality Duty

 

Public Sector Equality Duty

On 5 April 2011 the public sector equality duty (the equality duty) came into force in England, Scotland and Wales. This duty replaces the existing race, disability and gender equality duties.

As part of the Equality Act, a new public sector equality duty came into force. The duty requires public authorities to tackle discrimination and promote equal opportunities.

Appendix 1 Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 Public sector equality duty

(1) – A public authority must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the
need to –
(a) eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct
that is prohibited by or under this Act;
(b) advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant
protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;
(c) foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected
characteristic and persons who do not share it.
(2) – A person who is not a public authority but who exercises public functions must,
in the exercise of those functions, have due regard to the matters mentioned in
subsection (1).

(3) – Having due regard to the need to advance equality of opportunity between
persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share
it involves having due regard, in particular, to the need to –
(a) remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by persons who share a
relevant protected characteristic that are connected to that characteristic;
(b) take steps to meet the needs of persons who share a relevant protected
characteristic that are different from the needs of persons who do not share it;
(c) encourage persons who share a relevant protected characteristic to
participate in public life or in any other activity in which participation by such
persons is disproportionately low.
(4) – The steps involved in meeting the needs of disabled persons that are different
from the needs of persons who are not disabled include, in particular, steps to take
account of disabled persons’ disabilities.

(5) – Having due regard to the need to foster good relations between persons who
share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it involves
having due regard, in particular, to the need to –
(a) tackle prejudice, and
(b) promote understanding.
(6) – Compliance with the duties in this section may involve treating some persons
more favourably than others; but that is not to be taken as permitting conduct that
would otherwise be prohibited by or under this Act.
(7) – The relevant protected characteristics are – age; disability; gender
reassignment; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual
orientation.

(8) – A reference to conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act includes a
reference to –
(a) a breach of an equality clause or rule;
(b) a breach of a non-discrimination rule.
(9) Schedule 18 (exceptions) has effect.
Our posters can help promote a positive atmosphere and reinforce visibly your approach to equality and diversity.


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