The Public Sector

This cross-cutting theme is now closed for comments.

You can read comments made since the start of the Red Tape Challenge in April 2011 below.

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Public bodies, such as local councils and hospitals, provide a range of services to a large number of people.  The Equality Act contains particular rules which require public bodies to think about how their policies and services deliver equal treatment and equal opportunities for everybody.

The Act replaces three different equality duties in previous law with a single Equality Duty on public bodies.  This requires public bodies to think about how different people will be affected by the decisions they make and the services they deliver so that they are appropriate and accessible to all and meet different people’s needs.

The Act also contains a new socio economic duty requiring some public bodies to think about how their activities affect the most disadvantaged people, but the Government has announced that it does not intend to implement this measure.

Tell us what you think should happen to these measures and why, being specific where possible

216 responses to The Public Sector

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    MC Gervais said on April 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    The equality duties are absolutely essential in order to prevent institutional discrimination from taking place. They do not need strengthening, but they should be more fully implemented. Whether one consider the fields of housing, crime, health, education, employment or most other public policy issues, there is an incontrovertible body of evidence which points to poorer status and outcomes, and greater (or at least different) needs among people form minority ethnic population. Although the specifics vary by group and by policy issue, much the same is true of other target equality groups, such as women, young people, older people, refugees, disabled people, LGBT people, etc. There is a need to understand, and to cater for, this diversity of needs. As Mandela would say, the hallmark of civilisation is in how governments look at the most vulnerable members of their society. I want to continue to believe that Britain is a highly civilised society.

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    james mann said on March 14, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    this should be at least left alone or strengthened

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    Dr. Hazel Conley said on October 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    The public sector equality duties were enacted to tackle institutional discriminaton in powerful public services such as the police force. The recent scandal in relation to [TEXT DELETED] highlights how institutional culture can work to hide and either directly or indirectly condone abuses of power. In my view scrapping the legislation would be a strong indication that the government does not intend to confront issues of institutional discrimination and is, indeed, using its own institutional power to do this. Some issues are more important to society than making it easier for businesses to make money. Equality is one of them.

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    Daniel Wood said on May 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    The Public Sector Equality Duty should be strengthened from its current format. Certainly no regression. There should be additional monitoring of public sector compliance put in place. This Duty affects every single person in society and has a massive positive influence in changing attitudes and practices. The cost of this consultation would be better put to use strengthening The Public Sector Equality Duty and not on such a bureaucratic, waste of time and expensive process as this consultation is.

    Comment Tags: keep the Duty

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      j mann said on March 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      how unusual that the current government is trying to do away with worker rights and those who are vunerable in society and backing the rich tax avoiders

      Comment Tags: strenghten the act

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    Rex Webb said on May 30, 2012 at 8:03 am

    The Public Sector Duty and the Specific Duties are drivers to keep Equality, Diversity and Fairness issues on the agenda of public sector organisations. The duties do not need to be removed or weakend they need to be stregthened. In a time of cuts many organisations (partcularly the public sector) will look at the minimum they have to do to comply with the law.
    The Public Sector duty was just begining to move E&D forward in the public sector don’t stop progress by tampering with it, unless you mean to strengthen it.

    Comment Tags: Public Sector Duty

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    Deborah Carson said on April 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

    this legislation shouldnt be changed, if anything it should be strengthened, it helps to protect vulnerable individuals and communities, it isnt burdensome, its vitial to good quality public services!

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    Jillian Copeland said on February 22, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Its pretty obvious why the Government wont be implementing the socio economic measure! They will no doubt find themselves abusing this part of the act very soon , when they are throwing numerous disadvantaged people out of their homes!! This part should be kept, and should be implemented. What is the point of keeping this Act if they do not intend on using it?!?

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