Public sector equality duty
Produced in partnership with Matt Lewin of Cornerstone Barristers

The following Public Law practice note produced in partnership with Matt Lewin of Cornerstone Barristers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Public sector equality duty
  • Overview of the PSED
  • Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Public authority
  • Exercise of its functions
  • Functions of a public nature
  • Due regard
  • The Brown principles
  • Hotak
  • Duty of inquiry/consultation
  • More...

Public sector equality duty

All public authorities, when exercising any of their functions, are subject to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). The PSED is set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010).

The PSED requires public authorities, in the exercise of their functions, to have ‘due regard’ to the need to:

  1. eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the EqA 2010

  2. advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a ‘relevant protected characteristic’ and persons who do not share it

  3. foster good relations between persons who share a ‘relevant protected characteristic’ and persons who do not share it

EqA 2010, s 149 replaced the previous three separate public sector duties on race, gender and disability equality (Race Relations Act 1976, s 71, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, s 76A and Disability Discrimination Act 1995, s 49A—all repealed), bringing the duties under one statute, and extending the duty to other protected characteristics. Case law relating to the former public equality duties is still relevant when looking at the PSED under the EqA 2010.

Overview of the PSED

The EqA 2010 is the principal anti-discrimination statute in UK law. The PSED is one of the most important provisions in the EqA 2010 for ensuring that its anti-discrimination aims are fulfilled.

The overall purpose of the PSED is to ensure that public authorities give advance

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