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Want to stay on the right side of the law? We support businesses and public authorities and help them to promote good practice.
 
 

Demonstrating effective leadership:

Section 75

What you need to know

 

Section 75: Demonstrating Effective Leadership

David Sterling
"I endorse the Equality Commission's guidance on 'Section 75 – Demonstrating Effective Leadership' to those in senior roles in the NICS and the wider public sector.

It is the duty of all of us in leadership positions to make clear our ownership of the statutory equality and good relations duties in our organisations; they are a vital part of our legal framework in Northern Ireland under the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

This guidance will support the effective implementation of the duties and will help to improve decision making and engagement with those potentially affected by the development of public policy and service delivery in Northern Ireland." - 
David Sterling, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service

Downloadable publications:
 
How can leaders practically demonstrate their commitment to the Section 75 statutory duties?
The following checklist aims to remind leaders, senior managers and decision-makers of what is required to ensure the effective implementation of the Section 75 duties.

Good Governance

1.  Ensure that an effective equality scheme is in place and its requirements are understood by all officers with Section 75 responsibilities i.e. senior managers, policy makers, those taking policy decisions and equality officers.

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2.  Ensure that key responsibilities and resources for Section 75 are allocated.
  
3.  Ensure that the Section 75 duties are integrated into core business activities including business plans, staff objectives and risk registers.

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4.    Equality scheme training commitments are implemented, including appropriate mandatory training e.g. for policymakers who will be undertaking screening/EQIA.

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5.   Ensure that Section 75 data/evidence is gathered and policies are developed based on this evidence. Post implementation, the Section 75 equality impacts of policies must also be monitored.
 
6.   Ensure that the implementation of the Section 75 commitments is reviewed regularly e.g. review quarterly screening reports.
 
 

Meaningful equality screening and impact assessments

7.    Ensure that screening and equality impact assessments are undertaken for each policy, as defined in the equality scheme. If equality assessments are not provided, then decision makers should ask for them.
8.  Ensuring screening and equality impact assessments are timely, of good quality, coherent, evidence based and proportionate.
 
9.    Ensuring that screening and equality impact assessments have an appropriate focus on equality and good relations.
 

Good communication and engagement

10.  Ensuring that the importance of the Section 75 duties is regularly communicated, both internally and externally.
11.  Ensure that an effective internal challenge function to policymakers is in place, to engage all functions of the organisation and leaders actively support the role of the 'equality function'
  
12.  The organisation works with other public authorities to implement the duties, for example where they also have a role in developing/implementing a policy.
13.    There is effective on the equality impacts of proposed policies, with those affected by policies, as policies are being developed.
14.   There is transparency of decision-making and equality considerations, evidenced by the timely recording and communication of equality assessments, to demonstrate that the appropriate level of regard has been paid and equality scheme commitments complied with.
 

Actions to address persistent inequalities

15.  Ensuring that a current Section 75 action plan is in place based on a robust audit of inequalities.
 
 

       Related information

S75 logo
Acting on the evidence of public authority practices
The Equality Commission’s report 'Acting on the evidence of public authority practices' (July 2018) identifies a number of issues which it believes are fundamental to the effective implementation of the Section 75 duties by public authorities and presents recommendations which will help them to fulfil their statutory equality and good relations duties.




 
S75 duties for Public Authorities
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