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Public Sector Duty

Public Sector Duty

The Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty (Public Sector Duty) is a legal obligation on public bodies, contained in Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014, to have regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and protect the human rights of public sector staff and service users.

It requires public bodies to give effect to this duty through steps to Assess, Address and Report, to:

– carry out an assessment of equality and human rights issues facing the identified groups for the Duty and relevant to their functions;

– develop policies, plans and actions to address these issues; and

– report annually on progress and achievements in relation to those actions.

The Public Sector Duty is a legal obligation on public bodies, contained in Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014, to have regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and protect the human rights of public sector staff and service users.

The identified groups for the Duty are:

  • groups covered by the nine protected grounds under equality legislation: gender (including transgender people and people transitioning to their true gender); civil status; family status (including lone parents and carers); age; disability; sexual orientation; race (encompassing race, skin colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins); religion (any or no religious belief); and membership of the Traveller community; and
  • groups covered by the ground of socio-economic status, who are at risk of or experiencing poverty and social exclusion, including working class people, people experiencing rural disadvantage, and ex-offenders.

It requires public bodies to give effect to this duty through steps to Assess, Address and Report, to:

– carry out an assessment of equality and human rights issues facing the identified groups for the Duty and relevant to their functions

– develop policies, plans and actions to address these issues; and

report annually on progress and achievements in relation to those actions.

In implementing these steps, Donegal ETB has undertaken the following initiatives:

Assess: Donegal ETB has undertaken an assessment of the equality and human rights issues facing the identified groups under the Duty, that are relevant to the functions of Donegal ETB.

Address: Donegal ETB is addressing the issues it identified in its assessment at key moments in developing or reviewing its plan, programmes, procedures, and policies and is enabling this work with staff training.

Report: Donegal ETB reports annually on it how its progress and achievements in addressing these issues. You can read our most recent report here.

Donegal ETB has developed an implementation plan for the Duty (which you can read here), which includes:
  • Our equality and human rights values statement, which establishes our ambition for the Duty and its implementation in Donegal ETB.
  • Our assessment of the equality and human rights issues facing the identified groups for the Duty that are relevant to our various functions, the first step required under the Duty.
  • Our strategy in enabling and pursuing an ongoing implementation of the Duty in Donegal ETB.

Useful Resources

Training for staff

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has developed an e-learning module for public sector staff to support public bodies to implement the Public Sector Duty which you can access here. It contains three units which will take approximately three hours to complete.

There are three units in the eLearning module:

  • Unit 1: Equality in the Public Service – This unit will introduce you to equality and the equality obligations of public bodies as well as supporting your exploration of equality issues facing staff and service users.
  • Unit 2: Human Rights in the Public Service – This unit will introduce you to human rights concepts and human rights obligations of public bodies and support your exploration of issues facing staff and service users.
  • Unit 3: The Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty – This unit will introduce you to the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty and the steps involved in its implementation.

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