The Equality Act 2010 brought together and replaced previous anti-discrimination laws such as the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000, and the Sex Discrimination Act 1986.
The Equality Act 2010 includes a new Public Sector Equality Duty (the ‘general duty’) which came into force on 5 April 2011.
The aim of the general duty is to ensure that public authorities and those carrying out a public function consider how they can positively contribute to a fairer society through advancing equality and good relations in their day-to-day activities. This duty ensures that equality considerations are integral to the design of policies and the delivery of services, and they are kept under review with the aim of achieving better outcomes for all.
Ceredigion County Council is required to have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and , victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited under the Act
- Advance equality of opportunity, between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not
- Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
The Equality Act explains that having due regard for advancing equality involves:
- Removing or minimising disadvantages experienced 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 with protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low
The Equality Act describes fostering good relations as tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Meeting the duty may involve treating some people more favourably than others, as long as this does not contravene other provisions within the Act.