Compliance with the Equality Act 2010
Public sector equality duty
Local authorities must pay due regard to the public sector equality duty when commissioning advocacy services.
To ‘pay due regard’ means that when making decisions a local authority:
must ...have due regard to the need to:
PSED essential guidance
- 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.
And in order to have due regard:
Those who exercise its functions must be aware of the general equality duty’s requirements. Compliance with the general equality duty involves a conscious approach and state of mind. General regard to the issue of equality is not enough to comply.PSED essential guidance
The protected characteristics are:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sex and sexual orientation.
Paying due regard
As a commissioner, you should:
- identify the advocacy needs of people who share protected characteristics in the local authority
- undertake analysis of access to, experiences of and outcomes from current advocacy provision and use this analysis to inform your commissioning of future advocacy provision
- ensure contracts with providers are designed in such a way as to meet the advocacy needs of people who share protected characteristics
- include in contracts requirements on providers to monitor access to, experience of and outcomes from service provision for people who share protected characteristics
- engage with users of advocacy services who share protected characteristics and with organisations representing people who share protected characteristics to identify issues regarding access to, experience of and outcomes from commissioned advocacy services for these groups.