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Equality Bill

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A
Bill
To

Make provision to require Ministers of the Crown and others when making
5strategic decisions about the exercise of their functions to have regard to the
desirability of reducing socio-economic inequalities; to reform and harmonise
equality law and restate the greater part of the enactments relating to
discrimination and harassment related to certain personal characteristics; to
enable certain employers to be required to publish information about the
10differences in pay between male and female employees; to prohibit
victimisation in certain circumstances; to require the exercise of certain
functions to be with regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and other
prohibited conduct; to enable duties to be imposed in relation to the exercise
of public procurement functions; to increase equality of opportunity; and for
15connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 20Socio-economic inequalities

1 Public sector duty regarding socio-economic inequalities

(1) An authority to which this section applies must, when making decisions of a
strategic nature about how to exercise its functions, have due regard to the
desirability of exercising them in a way that is designed to reduce the
25inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage.

(2) In deciding how to fulfil a duty to which it is subject under subsection (1), an
authority must take into account any guidance issued by a Minister of the
Crown.

(3) The authorities to which this section applies are—

(a) 30a Minister of the Crown;

Equality BillPage 2

(b) a government department other than the Security Service, the Secret
Intelligence Service or the Government Communications Head-
quarters;

(c) a county council or district council in England;

(d) 5the Greater London Authority;

(e) a London borough council;

(f) the Common Council of the City of London in its capacity as a local
authority;

(g) the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

(h) 10a Strategic Health Authority established under section 13 of the
National Health Service Act 2006, or continued in existence by virtue of
that section;

(i) a Primary Care Trust established under section 18 of that Act, or
continued in existence by virtue of that section;

(j) 15a regional development agency established by the Regional
Development Agencies Act 1998;

(k) a police authority established for an area in England.

(4) This section also applies to an authority that—

(a) is a partner authority in relation to a responsible local authority, and

(b) 20does not fall within subsection (3),

but only in relation to its participation in the preparation or modification of a
sustainable community strategy.

(5) In subsection (4)—

  • “partner authority” has the meaning given by section 104 of the Local
    25Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007;

  • “responsible local authority” has the meaning given by section 103 of that
    Act;

  • “sustainable community strategy” means a strategy prepared under
    section 4 of the Local Government Act 2000.

(6) 30The reference to functions in subsection (1) does not include any functions
that—

(a) are exercisable in or as regards Scotland, and

(b) do not relate to reserved matters (within the meaning of the Scotland
Act 1998).

(7) 35The reference to inequalities in subsection (1) does not include any inequalities
experienced by a person as a result of being a person subject to immigration
control within the meaning given by section 115(9) of the Immigration and
Asylum Act 1999.

2 Power to amend section 1

(1) 40A Minister of the Crown may by regulations amend section 1—

(a) to add a public authority to the authorities that are subject to the duty
under subsection (1) of that section;

(b) to remove an authority from those that are subject to the duty;

(c) to make the duty apply, in the case of a particular authority, only in
45relation to certain functions that it has;

(d) in the case of an authority to which the application of the duty is
already restricted to certain functions, to remove or alter the restriction.

Equality BillPage 3

(2) In subsection (1) “public authority” means an authority that has functions of a
public nature.

(3) Provision made under subsection (1) may not impose a duty on an authority in
relation to any devolved Scottish functions or devolved Welsh functions.

(4) 5The Welsh Ministers may by regulations amend section 1—

(a) to add a relevant Welsh authority to the authorities that are subject to
the duty under subsection (1) of that section;

(b) to remove a relevant Welsh authority from those that are subject to the
duty;

(c) 10to make the duty apply, in the case of a particular relevant Welsh
authority, only in relation to certain functions that it has;

(d) in the case of a relevant Welsh authority to which the application of the
duty is already restricted to certain functions, to remove or alter the
restriction.

(5) 15In subsection (4) “relevant Welsh authority” means an authority whose
functions—

(a) are exercisable only in or as regards Wales,

(b) are wholly or mainly devolved Welsh functions, and

(c) correspond or are similar to those of an authority for the time being
20specified in subsection (3) of section 1 or referred to in subsection (4) of
that section.

(6) The Welsh Ministers may not make regulations under subsection (4) without
the consent of a Minister of the Crown.

(7) Regulations under this section may make any amendments of section 1 that
25appear to the Minister or Ministers to be necessary or expedient in
consequence of provision made under subsection (1) or (as the case may be)
subsection (4).

(8) For the purposes of this section—

(a) a function is a devolved Scottish function if it is exercisable in or as
30regards Scotland and it does not relate to reserved matters (within the
meaning of the Scotland Act 1998);

(b) a function is a devolved Welsh function if it relates to a matter in respect
of which functions are exercisable by the Welsh Ministers, the First
Minister for Wales or the Counsel General to the Welsh Assembly
35Government, or to a matter within the legislative competence of the
National Assembly for Wales.

3 Enforcement

A failure in respect of a performance of a duty under section 1 does not confer
a cause of action at private law.

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