Presentation on theme: "Equality Act 2010 The Public Sector Equality Duty - how will it affect the third sector? Neil Martin."— Presentation transcript:
Equality Act 2010 The Public Sector Equality Duty - how will it affect the third sector? Neil Martin
10/12/20142 Key provisions October 2010: Services & Public Functions Premises Employment Associations Education April 6th 2011:Public Sector Equality Duty
10/12/20143 Protected Characteristics services, public functions, employment Disability Gender reassignment Pregnancy & maternity Race Religion / belief Sex Sexual orientation Marriage & civil partnership – employment & vocational training Age – from 2012
10/12/20144 Prohibited Conduct 1.Direct discrimination, including by association and perception 2.Indirect discrimination 3.Harassment 4.Third party harassment 5.Discrimination arising from disability 6.Duty to make reasonable adjustments
Purpose of the equality duty Help public authorities to: Integrate equality & good relations into core business (design of policies/delivery of services). Develop services more appropriate to users & more cost-effective Increase productivity by building a more supportive working environment Draw on a wider range of talent & be more representative. Better informed decision-making & policy development (improving policy outcomes & satisfaction with services)
Protected characteristics -Public Sector Equality Duty Age Disability Pregnancy and maternity Religion or belief Race Sex Sexual orientation Gender reassignment Marriage and civil partnerships (but only for eliminating discrimination)
Key elements of the duty Equality information Engagement Equality analysis Equality objectives
Key dates for the duty in England 6 April 2011: general & specific duties come into force 31 July 2011: specific duties require listed bodies (except schools) to publish equality information 31 December 2011: schools to publish equality information 6 April 2012: specific duties require listed bodies (including schools) to publish equality objectives
General equality duty In the exercise of their functions, public authorities must have due regard to the need to: Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation Advance equality of opportunity Foster good relations
What this means Advancing equality: Remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people with protected characteristics Take steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups (including taking account of a disability) Encourage protected groups to participate in public life. Fostering good relations: Tackle prejudice Promote understanding
Who the general duty applies to Public authorities listed in Schedule 19 of Act –e.g. local authorities, schools, health bodies, police & government departments). Organisations who exercise public functions –e.g. private/voluntary organisations carrying out public functions on behalf of a public authority.
Commissioning and procurement General duty will apply to procurement & commissioning by public authorities regardless of the value of the contract. No specific duty relating to procurement. Commission planning to publish a guide to equality and procurement – spring / summer 2011.
Specific duties Purpose is to help public authorities to comply with the general equality duty Complying with the specific duties is part of complying with the general equality duty, but is not sufficient in itself
Who the specific duties apply to The specific duties apply to all public authorities listed in Schedule 1 of the specific duties regulations. This covers most (but not all) of the public authorities listed in Schedule 19 of the Equality Act.
Equality information Under specific duties, publish sufficient information to demonstrate their compliance with the general equality duty (at least annually) Public authorities with under 150 employees: –not required to publish workforce information –need to collect workforce information for developing objectives & equality analysis of workforce policies.
Sensitive equality information Where employees & service users are not ready to be asked about sexual orientation, gender reassignment or religion, develop a culture of trust to enable this to be collected in the future. Explain why information is being collected, what it will be used for, and how privacy will be protected. Analysing national or local research and engagement are useful for identifying key issues if monitoring is not possible.
Engagement General duty requires public authorities to have a good evidence base for decision-making, and engagement is a key part of that information. Specific duties require information about engagement undertaken to be published, including when developing equality objectives. Specific duties don’t set out how or when engagement should be undertaken.
Equality Analysis A key part of complying with general duty. Specific duties require publication of evidence of equality analysis undertaken and details of the information considered. Case law on the old duties still has relevance. –e.g. equality analysis needs to be undertaken before decision-making and written records are needed. Current duties still apply until 6 th April
Equality objectives Authorities covered by the specific duties: Prepare and publish equality objectives. Publish objectives at least every 4 years (either individually or as part of another document). Consider the equality information that was published, before preparing equality objectives. Objectives must be specific and measureable Publish details of engagement undertaken when developing equality objectives. Set out how progress on objectives will be measured.
Specific duties 1) Publish equality information: Publish sufficient information to demonstrate compliance with the general equality duty by 31 July 2011 (31 December 2011 for schools), then annually. Publish this in an accessible manner This shall include: The effect of policies on protected groups Evidence of equality analysis Details of information considered in equality analysis. Details of engagement undertaken
Specific duties 2) Prepare and publish equality objectives Prepare & publish objectives to meet one or more aims of general duty by April 2012 Publish new objectives at least every four years Consider the published equality information before preparing objectives. Publish details of engagement undertaken when developing objectives Ensure the objectives are specific and measureable Set out how progress on objectives will be measured.
Monitoring and enforcement Commission responsible for monitoring and enforcing the equality duty Range of tools set out for the Commission under the Equality Act 2006 still apply Enforcement tools include: –compliance notices –judicial review –section 31 assessments –section 23 agreements –legal interventions.
10/12/ Guidance Codes of Practice Employment Services, Public Functions and Associations Equal Pay Public Sector Equality Duties Non-Statutory Guidance For employers and workers For service providers and for service users Public Sector Equality Duties Equality Act starter kit
PSED Guidance Available now: The essential guide to the public sector equality duty Equality analysis and the equality duty Engagement and the equality duty Equality objectives and the equality duty Equality information and the equality duty To be produced: VCS specific guidance - Equality & Diversity Forum Code of Practice