Our research on the Equality duty

Advice and Guidance

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The following documents include research reports published by us about the implementation of the Equality Duty (or previous Equality Duties)

The Commission undertook an assessment of the objectives published by public authorities between September and December 2012.  This covered 2010 public authorities in England. The websites of public authorities were reviewed, to assess to whether they had published equality objectives. The report documents the number and proportion of public authorities publishing objectives.

Read the report here

Using its unique powers, the Commission conducted a section 31 Assessment of the extent to which HM Treasury met its legal obligations to consider the impact of Spending Review decisions on protected groups.

Making fair financial decisions

We've produced a progress follow-up report - Fair Financial Decision Making 2014 Progress Report

Download: PDF version

Research conducted by the Commission, IDeA, LGA and the SOPO to get a better understanding how local authorities procure services, works and goods, throughout the different stages of the procurement process.

Publishing equality information: Commitment, engagement and transparency

This report sets out how listed public authorities have performed on the specific duty to publish equality information. It reports on the findings of an assessment of over 1100 authorities undertaken by the Commission between February and April 2012. It includes information about performance across a range of sectors, it sets out what good practice looks like, and it includes recommendations for public authorities to help them to improve their performance.

Download PDF

Download: Word version

Research on the specific duties, recommendations for the equality duty. Equality and Human Rights Commission 2009.

The Commission has launched a first of its kind report looking at the action taken by schools in England and Wales under the race, disability and gender equality duties, which were superseded on 5 April this year by the new Public Sector Equality Duty. The research which was carried out by Ipsos MORI, contains evidence from schools about the impact that the equality duties have had on improving pupil outcomes.

Schools report that the duties are creating more positive outcomes for pupils including better access to facilities, feeling valued, developing higher aspirations, narrowing gaps in performance and participation in sports. However the Commission believes that all schools now need to take a systematic approach to using evidence to tackle entrenched inequalities in education. The report is accompanied by in-depth case studies and a paper which makes recommendations for key organisations in the new policy landscape in education.


Research report

The equality duties and schools - PDF version

Policy paper

The equality duties and schools: Lessons for the future - PDF version

The equality duties and schools: Lessons for the future - Word version

Case studies - Examples of implementing the equality duties to improve pupil outcomes

The equality duties and schools: Twelve case studies - PDF version

The equality duties and schools: Twelve case studies - Word version

Moving towards effective equality outcomes

This research report examines performance on the former race, disability and gender equality duties by Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts in England. These duties were replaced by the new public sector equality duty in April 2011.

The research found that although progress was made on delivering the race, disability and gender equality duties, significant work still needs to be done by health bodies to ensure that their efforts lead to identifiable changes to health outcomes for different groups.

The report is accompanied by a policy paper with recommendations as to how health bodies can meet their obligations under the new equality duty.

Effective implementation of the new duty can assist healthcare providers in reducing health inequalities, creating a more effective workforce, and improving the life chances and wellbeing of millions of people in the UK.


Research report

The performance of the health sector in meeting the Public Sector Equality Duties - PDF version

Policy paper

A way forward for the health sector - PDF version

A way forward for the health sector - Word version

Download: PDF version | Word version

This guidance highlights just a handful of the hundreds of success stories where the public sector has used that particular duty to involve disabled people and improved outcomes and results. Many have utilised the framework of either a Disability Equality Scheme or a more general Equality Scheme.

Download: PDF version 

This study looked at the role of LSPs and LAAs in promoting equality with the aim of highlighting good equalities practice especially in relation to specific dimensions of equality: leadership; communications and messaging; data collection, disaggregation and analysis; compliance with legal equalities duties (for example, through equality impact assessments, differentiated action plans and targets); involvement; diversity in representation, and improved equality outcomes.

Last updated: 13 Oct 2020

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

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.


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Alternatively, you can visit our advice and guidance page.