The Equality Act 2010


The purpose of the Equality Act 2010 was to reform, harmonise and simplify equality law.  In doing so, it restated the greater part of previous legislation which covered discrimination and harassment related to certain personal characteristics. The Act is of particular relevance to public bodies such as the Trust as it sets out certain statutory duties (the Public Sector Equality Duty) that we are required to respond to in the way we go about our business of providing services to the communities we serve.

The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)

The PSED is made up of a General Duty supported by Specific Duties. The General Duty is set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 and came into force on 5 April 2011. Under the General Duty “a public authority must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to:-

a)  eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act;
b)  advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;
c)  foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.”

The Specific Duties were created via secondary legislation and the duties involved became effective in early 2012.

In summary the PSED requires the Trust to:

  • Give ‘due regard’ to the needs of different groups in the communities we serve as we go about our business and evidence that we are doing so.
  • Publish information about the people who use our services and our workforce to show our compliance with the Equality Duty, at least annually.
  • Set and publish equality objectives, at least every four years.

Each of these duties are explored in more detail via the relevant sections listed on the Equality Diversity and Inclusion page.

Further information on the Equality Act 2010 is available via the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

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