What are the Specific Duties?

The Scottish Government published The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 which came into effect on 27 May 2012.The Specific Duties assist public bodies such as Aberdeenshire Council to meet the General Duty.

 

Report on mainstreaming the equality duty

We are building an equalities perspective into every part of our work here at Aberdeenshire Council; in other words, we are mainstreaming equalities. We are taking equalities into account in the way we go about our business when acting as:

An Employer A Decision Maker
A Policy Maker A Buyer of Goods and Services
An Education Authority As Licensing Boards

Mainstreaming equalities has a number of benefits including:

  • Equalities becomes part of the structures, behaviours and culture of Aberdeenshire, to the benefit of employees and service users
  • We can demonstrate how, in carrying out our business, we are promoting equalities
  • Mainstreaming equalities contributes to continuous improvement, better performance and better value.

The initial Aberdeenshire Equalities Mainstreaming Report and the Equality Outcomes published in April 2013 is available to view. Aberdeenshire's Equalities Mainstreaming Progress Report published in April 2015 is also available to view.

Publish equality outcomes and report progress

Aberdeenshire's equality outcomes 2017-2021

We have developed six equality outcomes. Read our equalities mainstreaming and outcomes report (pdf 556KB). We have specified which protected characteristics and legal entity each outcome applies to and how it relates to our local outcome improvement plan.

Our equality outcomes have been developed to enable us to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • advance equality of opportunity
  • foster good relations

Assess and review policies and practices

We are committed to integrating equalities into our services, using tools such as the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA), to ensure that equalities feature in business planning, decision-making, and through all other policy development and review mechanisms.

Gather and use employee information

View Aberdeenshire Council's Workforce Profile (pdf 272KB) with details about gathering and using employee information.

Publish gender pay gap information

Find out more about Aberdeenshire Council's and the Aberdeenshire Education Authority gender pay gap (pdf 267KB). In terms of The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012, Regulation 7 (4) there is no requirement for Aberdeenshire Licensing Boards to publish information on the gender pay gap.

Publish statements on equal pay

View Aberdeenshire Council's and the Aberdeenshire Education Authority equal pay statement (pdf 1.01MB). In terms of The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012, Regulation 8 (4) there is no requirement for Aberdeenshire Licensing Boards to publish information on equal pay.

Consider award criteria and conditions in relation to public procurement

At an operational level, the Council recognises its duties under both The Equality Act 2010 and The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012. The Council has due regard to the equality duty when setting the award criteria for the purpose of evaluating the most economically advantageous tenders. The Council also stipulates contractual obligations on Service providers to comply with The Equality Act 2010 and to have due regard to the equality duty in circumstances where it is proportionate to the subject matter of the contract.

The following is standard in all Invitation to Tender (ITT) documents:-

"Is it your policy as an employer to comply with the obligations contained in The Equalities Act 2010 and, accordingly, your practice not to treat one group of people less favourably than other groups because of their gender, colour, race, nationality, ethnic origin, marital status, age, sexual orientation or religious beliefs nor to discriminate against disabled persons in relation to decisions to recruit, train, or promote employees?"

A positive response to the above question is supported by a copy of the organisation's equalities policy. As part of contract monitoring it is confirmed that the policy is still current and any complaints relating to non-compliance addressed.

It is noted that the non-statutory guidance for this legislation, as produced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, advises that the regulation does not impose any requirement on a listed authority where "it would not be proportionate to the subject matter of the proposed agreement". The guidance also recognises that the authority is only obliged to have due regard where award criteria is "the most economically advantageous tender" i.e. not price only.

Procurement is currently preparing a job profile for a new post which includes the championing of Equalities in Procurement which will cover addressing legislation and networking with other public bodies' procurement departments. A key part of the role will be embedding the early engagement and commitment across Services (applied consistently in neighbouring authorities). This will also prioritise the amendment in the ITT to refer to each of the nine Protected Characteristics; this is in our overall change programme to be complete by the end of July 2015.

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