Our monitoring of the public sector equality duty in Wales

Advice and Guidance

Who is this page for?

  • Public sector

Which countries is it relevant to?

    • Wales flag icon


The Public Sector Equality Duty and Welsh Specific Duties

The Public Sector Equality Duty and Welsh Specific Duties were introduced in April 2011 and have received full support from the Welsh Government and Assembly Members from all political parties.

The EHRC is the regulator of the PSED and our approach is to work with public authorities to encourage, guide, monitor and regulate activity on the Duty. The purpose of our monitoring is to:

  • measure progress
  • identify trends
  • share effective practice
  • assist ministerial reporting

In 2012 every Welsh public authority set equality objectives under the Welsh Specific Duties. Many of these objectives - such as tackling domestic abuse and hate crime, narrowing gender pay gaps - are based on EHRC How Fair is Wales? challenges. This helped to create a unified agenda for change across the devolved public sector.

Since 2012 our monitoring has shown that the Duty raised equality issues up the agenda in most public authorities. Many leaders began taking personal responsibility for driving the equality agenda forward. Our evidence indicated that the Duty has begun to make a difference. Public authorities told us it had begun to deliver benefits. The benefits identified included:

  • an increase in engagement with people with protected characteristics leading to greater understanding of service needs
  • changing the focus of delivery to begin allocating resources where they are most needed
  • bringing separate initiatives together in a single action plan leading to an increase in momentum

There are a number of factors leading to the progress achieved in the past two years including:

  • the strength of leadership and culture within the organisation to tackle inequalities
  • the extent to which equality is understood and integrated into work across the organisation
  • the level of resources and staff capacity 
  • the PSED and the priority given to it as a means of improving outcomes for service users

Public authorities reported that the PSED had added considerable value to their equality work by giving it a focus, providing clarity on how to achieve better outcomes and highlighting effective practice to be shared within and between organisations. 

Related content


Last updated: 19 Feb 2019

Further information

If you think you might have been treated unfairly and want further advice, you can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service.

Phone: 0808 800 0082
Textphone: 0808 800 0084

You can email using the contact form on the EASS website.

Also available through the website are BSL interpretation, web chat services and a contact us form.


Opening hours:

9am to 7pm Monday to Friday
10am to 2pm Saturday
closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays

Alternatively, you can visit our advice and guidance page.