Public Sector Equality Duty: General duty

The general duty comes into force on 5 April 2011.

 

A public authority must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to:

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

Having due regard to advancing equality of opportunity includes making serious consideration of the need to

  • remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are connected to that characteristic;
  • take steps to meet the needs of person who share a protected characteristics that are different from the needs of persons who do not share it;
  • encourage persons who share a relevant protected characteristics to participate in public life or in any activity in which participation by such persons is disproportionately low.

The steps involved in meeting the needs of disabled people include steps to take account of disabled people’s disabilities, which may include treating disabled people more favourably than others.

Having due regard to the need to foster good relations includes taking seriously the need to tackle prejudice and promote understanding.

The general duty is supported by specific duties.