This written ministerial statement was laid in the House of Commons on 28 June 2011 by Lynne Featherstone, and in the House of Lords by Baroness Verma of Leicester.
On 5 April 2011 the government brought into force the public sector equality duty, contained in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, for public authorities in Great Britain.
The equality duty requires public authorities to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations. It supports good decisionmaking by ensuring that public authorities understand how different people will be affected by their activities, so that services are appropriate and accessible to all, and meet different people’s needs.
To assist public authorities in the better performance of the Equality Duty, the government has today laid before Parliament for approval the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011. These regulations will promote the better performance of the equality duty by requiring those public authorities to publish:
- equality objectives, at least every four years
- information to demonstrate their compliance with the equality duty, at least annually
The latter will need to include, in particular, information relating to their employees (for authorities with 150 or more staff) and others affected by their policies and practices, such as service users.
The publication of this information will ensure that public authorities are transparent about their performance on equality. This transparency will drive the better performance of the equality duty without burdening public authorities with unnecessary bureaucratic processes, or the production of superfluous documents. Public authorities will have flexibility in deciding what information to publish, and will be held to account by the people they serve.
With the exception of schools, public authorities will be required to publish relevant information demonstrating their compliance by 31 January 2012, and their first equality objectives by 6 April 2012. Schools will be required to publish both their information and their equality objectives by 6 April
The government will work closely with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to ensure that clear non-statutory guidance is available to public authorities to help them to comply with these regulations.
The government is committed to reviewing the working of these regulations in two years’ time, to check they are delivering the transparency and accountability that we are seeking, and driving the better performance of the equality duty.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Date: Tue Jun 28 11:01:24 BST 2011