The Equality Duty
The Equality Duty is a duty on public bodies and others carrying out public functions. It ensures that public bodies consider the needs of all individuals in their day to day work - in shaping policy, in delivering services, and in relation to their own employees.
The new Equality Duty supports good decision-making - it encourages public bodies to understand how different people will be affected by their activities so that policies and services are appropriate and accessible to all and meet different people's needs. By understanding the effect of their activities on different people, and how inclusive public services can support and open up people's opportunities, public bodies are better placed to deliver policies and services that are efficient and effective. The Equality Duty therefore helps public bodies to deliver the Government's overall objectives for public services.
What has changed?
The new Equality Duty, which came into force on 6 April 2011, covers the following protected characteristics:
- gender reassignment
- pregnancy and maternity
- race - this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
- religion or belief - this includes lack of belief
- sexual orientation
The new Equality Duty replaces the three separate previous public sector equality duties for Gender, Race and Disability.
These previous schemes formed part of Ribble Valley's approach and commitment to equality and inclusion for all our residents and throughout all our services.