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.
Last updated: 12 May 2016