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Public sector equality duty (PSED)

The public sector equality duty (the equality duty) is made up of a general equality duty which is supported by specific duties.  The  ‘public sector equality duty’ is the formal title of the legislation, the ‘general equality duty’ is the overarching requirement or substance of the duty, and the ‘specific duties’ are intended to help performance on the general equality duty.  An overview of the equality duty is set out in our essential guide to the equality duty.  This includes further information about the meaning of ‘due regard’.

The general equality duty requires public authorities, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.

These are often referred to as the three aims of the general equality duty.

Although there is no explicit legal requirement to collect and use equality information across the protected characteristics, in order to have due regard to the aims of the general equality duty, public authorities must understand the impact of their policies and practices on people with protected characteristics.  Collecting and analysing equality information (including from engagement, where relevant) is an important way for public authorities to develop this understanding.

Public authorities covered by the specific duties must publish information to demonstrate their compliance with the general equality duty.

  • All listed bodies (except schools and pupil referral units) were required to do this by 31 January 2012, and at least annually thereafter
  • Schools and pupil referral units were required to do this by 6 April 2012, and at least annually thereafter.

The Trust has produced a living document to comply with this requirement which will be updated on a quarterly basis. Equality Act 2010 – Public Sector Equality Duty – January 2013  Publication of Information