What are the specific public sector equality duties?
Under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/353), there are three specific duties: to publish equality information, to publish equality objectives and to publish gender pay gap information. These specific public sector equality duties are intended to enable public authorities better to perform, and demonstrate their compliance with, the general public sector equality duty.
Under the duty to publish equality information, a public authority must publish information to demonstrate its compliance with the general equality duty, including, in particular, information relating to persons who share a relevant protected characteristic who are:
- its employees; and
- other persons affected by its policies and practices.
Authorities must publish information at intervals of no more than one year.
The requirement to publish information about employees does not apply to public authorities with fewer than 150 employees.
Under the duty to publish equality objectives, a public authority must prepare and publish one or more objectives that it thinks it should achieve to comply with any part of the general equality duty. Authorities must publish objectives at intervals of no greater than four years.
The duty to publish gender pay gap information is largely the same as the duty that applies to private-and voluntary-sector employers under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/172). It does not apply to public authorities with fewer than 250 employees.
The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 apply to public authorities in England and to the non-devolved functions of public authorities in Scotland and Wales. The Equality Act 2010 (Statutory Duties) (Wales) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/1064) provide for separate specific duties for relevant Welsh public authorities. The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/162) provide for specific duties for relevant Scottish public authorities.