Equality act 2010 the public sector equality duty how will it affect the third sector
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Equality Act 2010 The Public Sector Equality Duty - how will it affect the third sector?. Neil Martin. Key provisions. October 2010: Services & Public Functions Premises Employment Associations Education April 6th 2011: Public Sector Equality Duty.

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Equality act 2010 the public sector equality duty how will it affect the third sector l.jpg

Equality Act 2010The Public Sector Equality Duty - how will it affect the third sector?

Neil Martin


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Key provisions

October 2010: Services & Public Functions

Premises

Employment

Associations

Education

April 6th 2011: Public Sector Equality Duty


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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


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Prohibited Conduct

Direct discrimination, including by association and perception

Indirect discrimination

Harassment

Third party harassment

Discrimination arising from disability

Duty to make reasonable adjustments


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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)


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Protected characteristics -Public Sector Equality Duty

Sex

Sexual orientation

Gender reassignment

Marriage and civil partnerships (but only for eliminating discrimination)

  • Age

  • Disability

  • Pregnancy and maternity

  • Religion or belief

  • Race


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Key elements of the duty

  • Equality information

  • Engagement

  • Equality analysis

  • Equality objectives


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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


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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


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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


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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.


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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 areneeded.

  • Current duties still apply until 6th April


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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


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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


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Advice & Guidance

  • Website: www.equalityhumanrights.com

  • EHRC Helpline:

    • Tel: 0845 6046610

    • Email: englandhelpline@equalityhumanrights.com

  • Government Equalities Office: www.equalities.gov.uk