Meeting our equality duty

The Public Sector Equality Duty or 'general duty' created under the Equality Act 2010, requires us to have a due regard to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic who do not share it
  • foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic who do not share it

The general duty is supported by two 'specific duties' which requires us to:

  • publish information to show compliance with the equality duty every year
  • publish specific and measurable equality duties at least every 4 years

Protected characteristics

The Equality Act introduced the term 'protected characteristics' to refer to groups that are protected under the Act, these are:

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

It is important to note that carers are also protected through association to any of the above 9 characteristics.

In addition, Dorset Council recognises that there are a range of other groups/people that may face additional disadvantage and discrimination and we consider these when making decisions. They include:

  • people who are rurally isolated
  • people on low incomes/in poverty
  • single parents
  • people with a military background and their families
  • gender identity
  • gender expression

See Equality and Human Rights Commission for further guidance.

The Dorset Council Equality Scheme details our key equality objectives for 2019-2023. The Equality Scheme is supported by a detailed action plan, which will be reviewed on an annual basis.