Equality and Human Rights Commission

The following Public Law practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Statutory framework
  • The commissioners
  • General duty
  • Primary objectives
  • Equality and diversity
  • Human rights
  • Monitoring obligations
  • General powers
  • Information and advice
  • More...

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Statutory framework

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is an independent non-departmental public body established under the Equality Act 2006 (EA 2006), which sets out its functions, duties and powers.

The EHRC became operational on 1 October 1997, and in doing so replaced three former equality commissions (the Disability Rights Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equal Opportunities Commission).

The EHRC is a non-departmental public body, and as such is distinct and separate from the government, but it is sponsored by the Government Equalities Office and remains accountable for public funds, to that end it produces an annual report and set of accounts for each business year.

The work of the EHRC covers, England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland is excluded from its remit.

For further reading on the framework of the EHRC see: EHRC—governance manual.

The commissioners

The work of the EHRC is steered by a board of commissioners comprising between 10-15 individuals who are each experienced and knowledgeable in the fields of equality and/or human rights. Each commissioner is appointed for a tenure of between two and five years, and may be re-appointed thereafter. The commissioners form the Board of the EHRC, are led by a presiding chairman and have the ability to appoint a chief executive officer.

The commissioners are supported by several working committees, including two statutory committees established under

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