The Equality Act 2010 replaces previous equality laws with a Single Act, the majority of which came into force on 1 October 2010. A key remaining measure in the Act which came into force on 6 April 2011 is the public sector Equality Duty.
The aim of the Equality Duty is to “embed equality considerations into the day to day work of public bodies, so that they tackle discrimination and inequality and contribute to making society fairer”.
The duty consists of a “general duty” and “specific duties” that protect people from discrimination on the basis of certain characteristics. These are referred to as protected characteristics and cover the following: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender and sexual orientation.
The duty also requires public bodies to publish more information on equality than previously and demonstrate how they are delivering improvement. However, such information should be proportionate to the organisation’s size, resources and relevance to the issues of equality and good relations.
Tees Valley Combined Authority is committed to the promotion of equality and diversity and ensuring that all its policies and procedures are fully accessible and that our focus on improving the economy will help address economic equalities in the Tees Valley.
In July 2018 the Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet publicly committed to achieving at least 50% female representation on the Local Enterprise Partnership Board ahead of the national target of 2023. This commitment was achieved in 2021.