The Public Sector Equality Duty
The Public Sector Equality Duty, part of the Equality Act 2010, is made up of a “general duty” which is the overarching requirement and the “specific duties” which are intended to help performance of the general duty. The general duty has three aims and it applies to most public authorities, including Clinical Commissioning Groups (and bodies exercising public functions such as private healthcare providers), who must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited under the Equality 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.
Specific Duties for Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCGs)
Together with the general duties and the specific duties of the Public Sector Equality Duty, CCGs are required to publish in a manner that is accessible to the public:
1. Information to demonstrate compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty at least annually, starting by 31 January 2014. This information must include, in particular, information relating to people who share a protected characteristic who are:
- its employees – (public authorities with fewer than 150 employees are exempt. East and North Herts CCG falls within this exemption)
- people affected by its policies and practices.
2. Equality objectives at least every four years starting by 13 October 2013. All such objectives must be specific and measurable.