Public Sector Equality & Human Rights Duty

Public Sector Equality & Human Rights Duty

All public bodies in Ireland have a responsibility to promote equality, prevent discrimination, and protect the human rights of their employees, customers, service users, and everyone affected by their policies and plans. 

Section 42 of the The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 states that a public body shall, in carrying out all its functions, have regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate discrimination
  • Promote equality of opportunity and treatment of its staff and the persons to whom it provides services
  • Protect the human rights of its members, staff and the persons to whom it provides services

It requires a public body to:

  1. To assess

Set out in its strategic plan an assessment of the human rights and equality issues it believes to be relevant to the functions and purpose of the body, in a manner that is accessible to the public.

  1. To address

Set out in its strategic plan the policies, plans and actions in place or proposed to be put in place to address those issues, in a manner that is accessible to the public.

  1. To report

Report on developments and achievements in relation to 1 and 2 above in its annual report, in a manner that is accessible to the public.

The groups covered by Duty are those:

  • covered by the nine grounds under the equality legislation: gender (including gender identity); civil status; family status (including lone parents and carers); age (young and older people); disability; sexual orientation; race (Black and minority ethnic people); religion and belief; and membership of the Traveller community; and
  • groups encompassed by the ground of socio-economic status, those who are at risk of or experiencing poverty and exclusion.

Meath County Council through a Working Group has commenced the roll out of this Statutory Duty and have identified key moments to pilot the implementation of the duty during 2021 which include new strategies, current policies and operational procedures.

Thereafter Annual Service Delivery Plans within Sections will identify plans and strategies for implementing the Duty each year.

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