Public Sector Equality Duty

Section 149 of The Equality Act 2010 came into force on 5 April 2011 and introduced the Public Sector Equality Duty (or sometimes referred to as "the General Duty"). This act extends our responsibility as a public body to promote and encourage equal opportunities in addition to tackling unlawful discrimination.

The General Duty has three parts which must be complied with. It requires public bodies such as Aberdeenshire Council to have due regard or consciously consider the need to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • advance equality of opportunity between those who have protected characteristics and those who don't
  • foster good relations between those who have protected characteristics and those who don't

Protected characteristics

Everyone is protected by the Act. Every person has one or more of the protected characteristic, so the Act protects all of us against unfair treatment. The protected characteristics are:

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

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