Our colleagues over on EmploymentBlog have blogged a reminder that the specific equality duties on public authorities under the Equality Act 2010 are now in force in Scotland. These duties replace the previous disability equality duty under the old Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA).
 
As part of its review, each public authority should review its policies and procedures in relation to IT and IT accessibility to ensure that they comply with the new public sector equality duties in relation to people with disabilities. Unlike the other general (largely reactive) non-discrimination duties, the public sector equality duty requires proactive steps, and the plans put in place under the new legislation should be an evolution of those put in place under the DDA.
 
This includes ensuring that ITTs for goods and services address IT accessibility, by way of reference to specific technical requirements, standards and award criteria in the ITT. For example, ensuring that a new IT system is suitable for use by disabled employees, or that a new website content management system produces pages that can be accessed by disabled users.
 
As Gemma notes, the equivalent duties came into force in England and Wales last year. You can find more guidance on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

Brodies Employment Blog

The general public sector equality duty is set out in the Equality Act 2010 and came into force on 5 April 2011. It requires all public authorities to consider equality in exercising their functions, including decision-making, designing internal and external policies and delivering service. It covers the following protected characteristics: age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation, plus marriage/civil partnership with regard to discrimination in employment.

Public authorities are required, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other prohibited conduct;
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not; and
  • foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (the “Regulations”) came into force on 27…

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