The Public Sector Equality Duty
Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 details the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). The PSED consists of a general equality duty (the Duty) that requires public bodies like Manchester City Council to have 'due regard', in all of their day-to-day work, to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act;
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not;
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
Having due regard involves:
- Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics;
- Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people;
- Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low
The PSED is intended to embed consideration of equality and good relations into the day-to-day business of the Council. We need to make sure that this is reflected in our services and our policies so that the Duty has its intended effect and helps us to improve outcomes for the city's residents.
In addition to meeting the general duty, the Council also has specific duties to meet. These are:
- To publish enough information to show that we are complying with the general equality duty in what we do
- To publish evidence of any equality analysis that we undertake
- To prepare and publish Equality Objectives
The Council has set itself an ambitious equality objective which will need us to push the equalities agenda forward in all parts of the Council and in everything that we do. Our equality objective is:
"Manchester City Council will be rated an 'excellent' local authority under the Equalities Framework for Local Government (EFLG) by 2015."
Although this is challenging, achieving the objective will put Manchester City Council amongst the top equalities-performing councils in the UK, but more importantly, it will deliver real benefits for the city and its people.