Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty
The Equality Act 2010 protects people against discrimination, harassment and victimisation in relation to housing, education, clubs, the provision of services and work. It unifies and extends previous equality legislation.
Equality is a legal principle to eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity to people and groups.
• Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
• Advance equality of opportunity
• Foster good relations.
The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is made up of a general duty and specific duties. The general duty forms the main part of the legislation, and is supported by specific duties which support public bodies to demonstrate performance and compliance.
The public sector equality duty is described in Section 149 of the Equality Act and requires public bodies, including CCGs, to pay due regard to the need to:
• Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
• Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
• Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
The Act explains that having due regard for advancing equality involves:
• Removing or minimising disadvantage associated with a protected characteristic;
• Taking steps to meet the needs of individuals who share a protected characteristic (where these are different from others); and
• Encouraging persons who share a protected characteristic to participate in public life or in any other activity where participation by that group of people is disproportionately low.
Protected characteristics are defined as:
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Marriage and civil partnership
• Religion or belief
• Sexual orientation
• Gender reassignment
Under the specific duties of the PSED we are required to:
• Publish information to demonstrate compliance with the general duty annually, including data on those with a protected characteristic who are affected by our policies and practices
• Publish one or more equality objectives covering a four-year period
Wakefield CCG has integrated equality into its Communications, Engagement and Equality Strategy which details our approach.
To evidence ‘due regard’ as required by the Equality Act 2010 and to be sure that the decisions we take make a real, positive difference to the lives of people in Wakefield, where a decision is being made about a potential change to a service, policy or activity an equality impact assessment (EIA) will be completed. We have developed an integrated impact assessment process which includes quality, equality and privacy, amongst others, to ensure that these are considered within CCG commissioning processes.