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Good Relations & the Public Sector Equality Duty Chris Oswald Head of Policy & Comms

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Good Relations & the Public Sector Equality Duty Chris Oswald Head of Policy & Comms EHRC Scotland February 13. The Context. National Outcome 7 - “We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society.”

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Good Relations & the Public Sector Equality Duty

Chris Oswald

Head of Policy & Comms

EHRC Scotland

February 13.

the context
The Context
  • National Outcome 7 - “We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society.”
  • National Outcomes on employment, education, health, crime, older people, life chances and public services.
  • Single Outcome Agreements
  • The impact of the recession and demographic change
  • Christie Commission – Reform of public services
public sector equality duty purpose
Public Sector Equality Duty: purpose
  • Take effective action on equality issues
  • Make the right decision, first time round
  • Develop better policies and practices, based on evidence
  • Be more transparent, accessible and accountable
  • Improve outcomes for all
general equality duty
General Equality Duty
  • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act;
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it; and
  • foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic, or not
good relations general duty unpacked
Good Relations – General Duty unpacked.
  • ...involves having due regard, in particular, to the need to—
  • (a)tackle prejudice, and
  • (b)promote understanding.
general equality duty1
General Equality Duty
  • Single duty covering 8 of the protected characteristics – age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity
  • It covers marriage and civil partnership in relation to the non-discrimination duty only
  • Covers all “listed” public authorities
  • Also covers all bodies carrying out a public function, in relation to that function
  • A “public function” is one defined as such by the Human Rights Act 1998
overview of scottish specific duties
Overview of Scottish specific duties
  • Mainstreaming equality
  • Equality outcomes
  • Assessment and review
  • Employment information
  • Gender pay gap information
  • Equal pay statement
  • Procurement
  • Scottish Ministers duty
  • Publication duty
equality outcomes
Equality Outcomes

As a public authority, you must;

  • publish a set of Equality Outcomes by 30/04/13 and every four years thereafter
  • take reasonable steps to involve people with protected characteristics in preparing outcomes
  • consider relevant evidence relating to protected characteristics
  • publish reasons for not setting outcomes on individual protected groups
  • publish a progress report by 30/4/15 and every two years thereafter
equality outcomes1
Equality Outcomes

What they are not;

  • Outputs
  • Performing the other specific duties
  • Making your services accessible
  • About your services or functions
equality outcomes2
Equality Outcomes

What they are;

  • results that you aim to achieve in order to further one or more of the ‘needs’ of the general equality duty
  • changes in the lives of people affected by what you do
  • as a consequence of the actions you have taken
equality outcomes partnerships
Equality Outcomes Partnerships
  • General equality duty is held by the individual authority
  • Does not extend to partnerships except in relation to the authorities partnership activities
equality outcomes partnerships1
Equality Outcomes Partnerships
  • the most pressing issue of inequality may be one which can only be addressed through partnership
  • partners may wish to confer on preparing outcomes and working jointly towards achieving progress
  • accountability for equality outcomes rests with the individual body
our approach
Our approach
  • Hands off – for those authorities who we believe are performing well
  • Hand in hand – assisting those authorities who are struggling with issues such as using equalities evidence (see Improving Local Equality Data)
  • Hands on – for the minority of cases where either the authority is not willing to make changes or to clarify areas of conflicting rights.
monitoring outcomes
Monitoring Outcomes
  • Major monitoring & reporting project planned
  • Commences May 2013, looks at all published outcomes from all 300 PA’s
  • Identifies non compliant authorities
  • Assesses the type and nature of published outcomes, by sector, evidence base, scope etc
  • And reports to Scottish Parliament in Autumn 2013.
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