Implementing the Race Equality Duty Karon Monaghan
Section 71 RRA 1976 • “to make appropriate arrangements with a view to securing that their various functions are carried out with due regard to the need (a) to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination; and (b) to promote equality of opportunity, and good relations, between persons of different racial groups.” • Wheeler v Leicester City Council
New Duties • Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report Cm 4262-I • Institutional and structural discrimination • Section 71(1) of the RRA, as substituted by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
Section 71(1) • General duty/duties: all public authorities listed in Schedule 1A to the RRA, in carrying out their functions, to have “due regard” to the need “to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination; and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups.”
Listed authorities; 43,000 +; the Secretary of State has power to amend Schedule 1A to add or remove listed public authorities • No express reference harassment • Complementary duties; positive and negative
Specific duties Race Equality Scheme • Functions and policies the authority assessed as relevant to meeting the general duty; • How it intends to fulfill its general and specific duties.
Arrangements for assessing and consulting on likely impact of proposed policies on the promotion of race equality • Monitoring policies for adverse impact; publishing results of assessments and monitoring; training staff in connection with the general and specific duties.
Implementing the Duties Section 71: “This is a salutary requirement, and this provision must be seen as an integral and important part of the mechanism for ensuring the fulfillment of the aims of anti-discrimination legislation” R (Elias) v Secretary of State for Defence
R (BAPIO & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and Secretary of State for Health: Duty must be complied with “not as rearguard action following a concluded decision but as an essential preliminary to any such decision. Inattention to it is both unlawful and bad government”.
Code of Practice Four principles should govern public authorities’ efforts to meet their duty to promote race equality: a. Promoting race equality is obligatory for all public authorities listed in schedule 1A to the Act ….. b. Public authorities must meet the duty to promote race equality in all relevant functions. c. The weight given to race equality should be proportionate to its relevance. d. The elements of the duty are complementary (which means they are all necessary to meet the whole duty).
“Relevance is about how much a function affects people, as members of the public or as employees of the authority” • “Due regard”, “requires that the weight given to race equality should be proportionate to its relevance to a particular function.”
CRE’s step - by - step guide to undertaking race equality impact assessments. • Judicial Review • Assessments and Compliance Notices
Green Paper • Discrimination Law Review: “assess how our anti-discrimination legislation can be modernised to fit the needs of Britain in the 21st Century.” • Equalities Review: “at the current rate of change we will: close the gender pay gap [in 2085]; close the ethnic employment gap [in 2105]; close the disability employment gap, probably never; close the ethnic qualification gap, definitely never (things can’t only get better)”.
Fundamental Principles • Statutory Equality Duties • Identify the steps necessary • Regressive