Public Sector Equality Duty came into force on 5th April 2011 replacing the previous three equality duties: for race, gender and disability. The purpose of the duty is to encourage certain public bodies, including local authorities, health, transport and education bodies, the police, the armed forces and the central government departments, to pro-actively consider different customer and workforce needs when they carry out their day-to-day functions, deliver services and shape policy.
The Public Sector Equality Duty has three aims: to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations between people of different ethnicities, ages, gender, etc.
The Home Office say that the duty “supports good decision making – it encourages public bodies to understand how different people will be affected by their activities, so that their policies and services are appropriate and accessible to all and meet different people’s needs.”
For more information, visit the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) website.
The EHRC has provided advice on the application of the equality duty to making fair financial decisions. This is particularly relevant now when public sector organisations have to make savings.
Portsmouth City Council’s Equality and Diversity Strategy 2010-13 explains what we have been doing to comply with this duty and sets out our Single Equality Scheme Plan detailing individual projects and actions that services across the council are working on with the aim of furthering equality and diversity in the city.