East Devon District Council

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Policy Equality policy

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11. Appendix 2 Equality Act 2010 duties

General duties

Public bodies and others who exercise public functions must have due regard to the need to:

Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation

  • advance equality of opportunity
  • foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic (see 4.4 for an explanation of this term) and those who do not share it)

Having due regard means that the public bodies must consciously think about the three aims of the general duty as part of the decision making process, and assess the impact that the decisions will have.

Specific public sector equality duty

  • set measurable equality objectives
  • publish information about their performance on equality, so that the public can hold them to account

To meet the specific public sector duty, all public bodies must:

  • publish sufficient information to demonstrate compliance with the general equality duty across their functions by 31 January 2012 and annually after that
  • prepare and publish equality objectives by 6 April 2012, to demonstrate how the general equality duty will be met - this document addresses this duty for East Devon District Council

What are the protected characteristics?

The protected characteristics are disability, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion and belief, age and gender reassignment. Under the Equality Act, pregnancy and maternity, and marriage and civil partnerships are also protected from discrimination.

Actual legal requirements

Section 149 Equality Act 2010, which replaced the provisions of section 49A Disability Discrimination Act with effect from 5 April 2011, provides:

“A public authority must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act
  • advance quality 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

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 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 people that are different from the needs of persons who are not disabled include steps to take account of disabled people’s 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; this is not to be taken as permitting conduct that would otherwise be prohibited by or under this Act.

Disability is a relevant protected characteristic. 

Source:  www.legislation.gov.uk