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The Equality Act 2010: the Public Sector Equality Duty

The Equality Act 2010 protects people from discrimination because of:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

These categories are known as the ‘protected characteristics’.

The 2010 Act also introduced the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which has 3 overarching aims. Those subject to the duty must have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate 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

The aim of the PSED is to ensure that those subject to it consider advancement of equality when carrying out their day to day business. For the Welsh Government this includes shaping policy, delivery services and in relation to our employees.

The Equality Act 2010 (Statutory Duties) (Wales) Regulations 2011 (the 2011 Regulations)

In Wales, certain public bodies are also subject to specific duties found in the 2011 Regulations also known as the Welsh specific equality duties. The aim of these duties is to enable the better performance of PSED by requiring, for example, the publication of equality objectives together with equality impact assessments, engagement requirements, progress reports, collection of data and more.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) acts as the regulator which ensure compliance and delivery of actions which support PSED. Information on its regulatory role, responsibilities and powers of redress can be found in the Public Sector Equality Duty.

The PSED is separate from the Socio-economic Duty (SED). Information in the SED and the organisations which are subject to it, which are different to the list of organisations for the PSED, can be found at Socio-economic Duty: an overview.

PSED organisations

Welsh ministers routinely provide progress updates on work being done to comply with PSED by public bodies in Wales and the Welsh Government sponsored bodies (WGSB) which receive funding provided by the Welsh Government to carry out their duties. These include:

Welsh Government

  • The First Minister for Wales
  • The Welsh ministers
  • The Counsel General to the Welsh Government

The Welsh Government sponsored bodies

National Health Service

Local health boards

NHS trusts

Llais - Your voice in health and social care

Llais Wales is an independent body which:

  • engages with members of the public
  • represents the voice of people to health boards and local authorities
  • provides free and confidential complaints advocacy and support

Local government

County Councils and County Borough Councils

There are 4 regional partnerships or Corporate Joint Committees, where local government organisations have elected to work together for mutual benefit.

  • Mid Wales Corporate Joint Committee
  • North Wales Corporate Joint Committee
  • South East Wales Corporate Joint Committee
  • South West Wales Corporate Joint Committee

Although covered within the Public Sector Equality Duty, they have no website in their own right. Information in their activities can be obtained by contacting relevant local authorities.

Fire and rescue authorities

National park authorities

Educational bodies

Other public authorities

Commissioners for Wales

Universities in Wales

Further Education Institutions

UK Organisations covering England and Wales

Cross border organisations (along the border between England and Wales): cross border Welsh authorities

There are several UK organisations which operate in Wales, which are not covered in the Welsh ministers report since they operate at a UK level.