Scottish Government launches Consultation on Public Sector Equality Duty – Revised Specific Duties

On 9th September 2011, the Scottish Government launched its consultation on the revised draft regulations for the public sector equality duty (specific duties).

Context of the Consultation:

Public authorities in Scotland employ thousands of people and provide services and support to millions of people on key matters such as housing, education, policing, social work and health. What they do and how they do it is therefore important and influential.

The public sector equality duty is designed to assist public authorities to ensure that their services, policies and practices take account of people’s different needs and experiences and have due regard to the elimination of unlawful discrimination, the promotion of equality and the fostering of good relations.

The new public sector equality duty is part of the UK Government’s Equality Act 20102.  The new duty brings together the previous three duties on race, gender and disability and extends coverage to sexual orientation, age, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, and gender reassignment.  Like the previous duties, this new duty has two parts – a public sector duty in the Act itself (section 149(1)), often referred to as the general duty, and provision for specific duties to be made through Regulations.

The new public sector equality duty came into force on 5 April 2011 . Scottish Ministers intend to make ‘specific duties’ which will enable its better performance.

The purpose of this consultation is to seek the views of stakeholders and members of the public on revision of those draft Regulations.
The consultation seeks views on revisions only, specifically in relation to the following points:

  • Equality outcomes
  • Impact assessment
  • Employment monitoring and reporting
  • Procurement

The revised draft regulations can be viewed and responses to the consultation submitted here (Consultation Website).

Please remember the consultation deadline: 25th November 2011.