Under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act, as a designated public authority, we are required to have due regard for the need to promote equality of opportunity between:
persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation
men and women generally
persons with a disability and persons without
persons with dependants and persons without
We must also have regard for the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.
These are commonly referred to as the Section 75 statutory equality and good relations duties on public authorities. The duties are in addition to the duty not to discriminate under anti-discrimination law. They are intended to ensure that equality and good relations considerations are at the heart of our policy making and service delivery.
We are required to set out how we propose to fulfil these duties in an Equality Scheme which must be approved by the Equality Commission and reviewed every five years. We reviewed our Equality Scheme during 2020 – see review report as a PDF on this link.
While not a statutory requirement, public authorities are encouraged to develop Equality Action Plans to address identified and/or potential inequalities.
Our first action plan covered the period 2015-2020 and progress on its implementation was reported in the Annual Section 75 progress reports to the Equality Commission.
Equality Action Plan
Our current Equality Action Plan for 2021-2025 was developed and consulted on in 2021.