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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Our equality duties under the Equality Act

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.

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