The coalition government is currently undertaking a review of the public sector equality duty, a vital part of the Equality Act 2010 which requires public authorities to consider equality in all that they do.
The review was announced as part of its response to the Red Tape Challenge on equalities and it was stated that it was in line with the government's 'strong desire to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy where it exists and consider alternatives to legislation'.
The TUC believes this review is premature - the new equality duty only came into effect just under two years ago and the specific duties only a year ago. We have also expressed concerns about the degree of objectivity and rigour with which the review will be carried out. It is being overseen by a steering group that lacks any public service user or worker voice on it and no representation from the devolved administrations. It is being conducted in a very short timeframe. The terms of reference were only published at the end of November 2012 and the final report is due to ministers in April 2013.
Our concerns are outlined in the briefing paper: The Coalition Government's Review of the Equality Duty [PDF]
You can also read a blog post from Sally Brett, Senior Equality Policy Officer at the TUC, at the Touchstone blog.
Issued: 12 February, 2013