The Public Sector Equality Duty and Equality Impact Assessments

This briefing provides an overview of the Public Sector Equality Duty and related debate.

This briefing outlines the Public Sector Equality Duty contained in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, which requires public authorities to have due regard to several equality considerations when exercising their functions.

Section 149 replaced pre-existing duties concerning race, disability and sex. It extended coverage to the additional “protected characteristics” of age, gender reassignment, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation and, in certain circumstances, marriage and civil partnership.

This briefing also provides an overview of Equality Impact Assessments. These are assessments that public authorities often carry out prior to implementing policies, with a view to predicting their impact on equality. The Equality Act 2010 does not specifically require them to be carried out, although they are a way of facilitating and evidencing compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

  • Commons Research Briefing SN06591
  • Author: Douglas Pyper
  • Topics: Civil law