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Public sector equality duty

The public sector equality duty was created by the Equality Act 2010 and replaces the race, disability and gender equality duties. The general equality duty is set out in section 149 of the Equality Act.

Purpose of the general equality duty

The broad purpose of the equality duty is to integrate consideration of equality and good relations into the day-to-day business of public authorities. If Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) do not consider how a function can affect different groups in different ways, it is unlikely to have the intended effect. This can contribute to greater inequality and poor outcomes.

The general equality duty therefore requires DFRS to consider how they could positively contribute to the advancement of equality and good relations. It requires equality considerations to be reflected into the design of policies and the delivery of services, including internal policies, and for these issues to be kept under review.

Benefits of the equality duty

Compliance with the general equality duty is a legal obligation, but it also makes good business sense. DFRS as a public authority, that is able to provide services to meet the diverse needs of its users, should find that it carries out its core business more efficiently.

A workforce that has a supportive working environment is more productive. Overall, compliance can lead to services that are more appropriate to the user, and services that are more effective and cost-effective. This can lead to increased satisfaction with public services.

Publish information

DFRS is required, like all Public authorities, to publish sufficient information to demonstrate its compliance with the general equality duty across its functions.