The Public Sector Equality Duty

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2011 Water, Environment & Transport Service Group
15 February 2011
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that the Equality Act 2010 harmonised former equality legislation – the Sex Discrimination Act, the Disability Discrimination Act and the Race Relations (amendment) Act and related legislation.

Although the 2010 Act failed to meet the aspirations of many interested parties, including UNISON, there are significant benefits for employees and public sector services.

However, conference further notes that the public sector equality duty fails to recognise the essential role played by members in the water, environment and transport sector in delivering public services whilst employed by private companies.

Although the public sector equality duty requires that those bodies which are not public authorities will need to have due regard :

• To eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation;

• To advance equality of opportunity; and

• To foster good relations between different groups

the specific duties, which set out how this should be done, and which place far more stringent safeguards and requirements on public bodies, will not apply to the WET employers.

Conference therefore calls upon the service group executive to initiate a campaign for inclusion of the WET service group private companies providing public services in the Public Sector Equality Duty in its entirety.