The Public Sector Equality Duty
The Public Sector Equality Duty consists of a General Duty with three main aims that require public bodies to have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups; and
- Foster good relations between people from different groups.
The Equality Duty replaces the three existing public sector equality duties for disability, race and gender. The Equality Duty covers the following protected characteristics:
- Disability (opens in a new window)
- Age (opens in a new window)
- Race (opens in a new window) - including ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
- Gender reassignment (opens in a new window)
- Sexual orientation (opens in a new window)
- Sex (opens in a new window)
- Equal pay (opens in a new window)
- Religion or belief (opens in a new window)
- Pregnancy and maternity (opens in a new window)
- Marriage and civil partnerships (opens in a new window).
The general duty is underpinned by a number of specific duties which provide a framework to help public bodies meet the general duty. These duties require public bodies to set specific, measurable equality objectives and to publish information about their performance on equality.
The EASS (Equality Advisory Support Service) is available to advise you on your rights under the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 19987. The advice is not legal but through their free helpline you will speak to an experiences, highly trained and friendly advisor who will be happy to advise you of your rights and suggest the most effective way to resolve your problem. Visit the EASS website (opens in new window) for more information.