The Council's response to the Equality Duty
Common misunderstanding about the Equality Duty
The new Equality Duty should be applied in such a way as to not be an overly-bureaucratic and burdensome approach, so that the focus is on performance, not process.
- The Equality Duty does not impose a legal requirement to conduct an Equality Impact Assessment. Nor is there is any practical need to conduct one. Compliance with the Equality Duty involves consciously thinking about the three aims of the Equality Duty as part of the process of decision-making. That will entail understanding the potential effects of the organisation's activities on different people, but there is no prescribed process for doing this. Keeping a simple record of how decisions were reached will help public bodies show how they considered the Equality Duty.
- The Equality Duty does not mean that public bodies have to examine equality issues where they are not relevant to the matter in hand.
- The Equality Duty does not require public bodies to take disproportionate action on equality.
- The Equality Duty does not require public bodies to treat everyone the same.
- The Equality Duty does not require public bodies to treat all religions as being equal or to treat all religious festivals equally.
- The Equality Duty does not require public bodies to make services homogeneous or to try to remove or ignore differences between people.