Draft English Specific Equality Duties regulations were laid before parliament on 27 June 2011. They were debated in the House of Commons on 11 July.
The debate in the House of Lords is expected to take place in September 2011 and the specific duties will come into force following parliamentary approval (replacing the previously stated intention to have them in force before the summer recess).
The regulations require public authorities in Great Britain to publish:
- Equality objectives, at least every four years, by April 2012; and
- Information to demonstrate their compliance with the Equality Duty, at least annually.
Although the Equality Duty, which owes its origins to the Equality Act 2010, is Great Britain-wide and therefore applies to public bodies operating across GB, Scotland and Wales are able to set their own specific duties for public authorities operating exclusively in those countries.
The specific duties in Wales came in to force on 6 April 2011 and specific duties that will apply to Scottish public bodies are still being decided by the Scottish Parliament.
We will update you as we get more information from Holyrood and prepare a detailed briefing for those of you who are directly affected as public bodies (or, indirectly, if you contract to, or get funding from, public bodies).