Public Sector Equality Duty

Find out about the Equality Duty and how it helps us to be a good employer and deliver efficient and effective services.

The Public Sector Equality Duty (the Equality Duty) is made up of a general equality duty which is supported by specific duties. The Equality Duty was created by the Equality Act 2010 and replaces the race, disability and gender equality duties. The Equality Duty came into force in April 2011 and covers age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation

General Duty
Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 puts various requirements on NHS organisations when exercising their functions.

The general duty requires NHS organisations to have due regard to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • advance equality of opportunity between different groups
  • foster good relations between different groups.
  • The duty of eliminating discrimination also covers marriage and civil partnership.

Specific Duties
The specific duties are legal requirements designed to help public bodies meet their general duty.

They require the publication of:

  • information to demonstrate their compliance with the equality duty, at least annually (starting from 31 January 2012)
  • equality objectives, at least every four years (starting from 6 April 2012).