Equality Act 2010

The Public Sector Equality Duty, which is part of the Equality Act 2010, came into effect on 5 April 2011.

The Council must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act;
  • Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;
  • Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

Due regard must be given to the eight protected characteristics listed above, but also marriage and civil partnership in relation to elimination discrimination, harassment and victimisation. In 2012 Bradford Council also committed to giving due regard to people on Low Income and Low Wage to reflect the population it serves.

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:

  • Remove or minimise disadvantages, suffered by persons who share a relevant protected characteristic, that are connected to that characteristic.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

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 tackle prejudice and promote understanding.

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 the Equality Act.

Specific duties of the Equality Act 2010

There is also a specific duty to:

  • Publish information to demonstrate compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) at least annually – this is done through publication of equality assessments and progress against the Council’s equality objectives.
  • Prepare and publish equality objectives at least every four years.

The equality duty relates to everything public bodies do, including their decision-making, policy development, budget setting, procurement, service delivery and employment functions.

Publishing of equality information

A public authority is required to publish sufficient information annually to demonstrate its compliance with the general equality duty across its functions.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) recommended that monitoring and demonstration of progress will be easier if information is published at regular intervals and in a format that allows compatibility with previous information.

This information must include:

  • Information on the effect that its policies and practices have had on people who share a relevant protected characteristic, to demonstrate the extent to which it furthered the aims of the general equality duty for its employees and for others with an interest in the way it performs its functions.
  • Evidence of analysis that they have undertaken to establish whether their policies and practices have (or would) further the aims of the general equality duty.
  • Details of the information that they considered in carrying out this analysis.
  • Details of engagement that they undertook with people whom they consider to have an interest in furthering the aims of the general equality duty.