Equality Act 2010

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 came into force in October 2010.

The Act replaces previous anti-discrimination laws: Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and the Equality Act 2006. The purpose of the Equality Act is to bring together all anti-discrimination legislation to harmonise and strengthen the law to support progress on equality.

The Equality Act provides protection from discrimination for the following protected groups:

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

Read the full Equality Act.

Public Sector Equality Duty

On 5 April 2011 the Public Sector Equality Duty (section 149 of the Equality Act) came into force in England, Scotland and Wales. This duty has replaced the previous race, disability and sex equality duties. The Equality Duty requires public bodies to consider all individuals when carrying out their day-to-day work – in shaping policy, in delivering services and in relation to their own employees. It covers the protected characteristics of: age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. The duty to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination also covers marriage and civil partnerships.

Which organisations does the Public Sector Equality Duty Apply to?

Organisations listed in Schedule 19 of the Equality Act 2010 are subject to the general duty, which includes key public authorities like local authorities, health, transport and education bodies, the police, the armed forces and central government departments. In addition, any organisation that carries out a public function is subject to the general duty. In this situation, the duty will only apply to the organisation's public functions, not to any private functions it carries out.

The General Duty

The General Duty is set out in section 149 of the Equality Act. In summary, those subject to the equality duty must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard 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

Specific duties

The specific duties are legal requirements designed to help those public bodies covered by the specific duties meet the general duty. These duties require public bodies to be transparent about how they are responding to the Equality Duty by publishing relevant, proportionate information showing compliance with the Equality Duty, embedding equality consideration into decision making and setting equality objectives.

The specific duties require public bodies to publish information to show their compliance with the Equality Duty, at least annually; and set and publish equality objectives, at least every four years. All information must be published in a way that makes it easy for people to access it.

Data to be published


  • Information relating to employees who share protected characteristics (for public bodies with 150 or more employees)
  • Information relating to people who are affected by the public body's policies and practices who share protected characteristics (for example, service users)
  • The number of people with different protected characteristics who access and use services in different ways
  • Customer satisfaction levels and informal feedback from service users with different protected characteristics and results of consultations
  • Complaints about discrimination and complaints from people with different protected characteristics
  • Service outcomes for people with different protected characteristics

Every four years

  • One or more specific and measurable equality objective(s) that will help us to further the three aims of the Equality Duty

Chesterfield Borough Council's Equality and Diversity Data in relation to the Public Sector Equality Duty.

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Chesterfield Borough Council Position Statement on Public Sector Equality Duty PDF (PDF 85 KB)

Last updated on 12 November 2021