Public Sector Equality Duty for England, Scotland and Wales

This page details the general equality duty we observe when exercising our public functions in England, Scotland and Wales.

Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 details the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).

The PSED consists of a general equality duty (the Duty) that requires non-departmental public bodies such as The National Heritage Memorial Fund/The National Lottery Heritage Fund, when exercising our public functions, to have due regard to:

  • eliminating discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act;
  • advancing equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;
  • fostering good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

Protected characteristics

The protected characteristics are:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex and sexual orientation

Due regard

To ‘have due regard’ means that in making decisions and in our other day-to-day activities we must ‘consciously consider’ the need to:

  • remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are connected to that characteristic;
  • take steps to meet the needs of persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are different from the needs of persons who do not share it;
  • encourage persons who share a relevant protected characteristic to participate in public life or in any other activity in which participation by such persons is disproportionately low;
  • tackle prejudice;
  • promote understanding.

Separate Northern Ireland duty

Northern Ireland is subject to a separate legal regime, known as the Section 75 duty. It requires public authorities to promote equality of opportunity between persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation, men and women generally, persons with a disability and persons without and persons with dependants and persons without. It is also a requirement to submit an Equality Scheme to the NI Equality Commission.

UK and country-specific policy directions

In the distribution of lottery money we must also have regard to our policy directions (both UK and country-specific) which include equality based requirements such as:

  • increase access and participation for those who do not currently benefit from the heritage opportunities available in the United Kingdom
  • reduce economic, social and environmental deprivation, ensuring that all areas of the United Kingdom have access to the money distributed

England:

  • Have regard to the interests of England as a whole and the interests of different parts of England, taking account of the diverse demographic patterns and economic circumstances in the different parts of England.

Scotland:

  • The need to improve community engagement and involvement through projects that promote social inclusion and enhance community engagement and participation.

 Wales:

  • Have regard to the interests of Wales as a whole and the interests of different parts of Wales, taking account of the diverse demographic and deprivation patterns in the different parts of Wales.

Our commitment

We are committed to building a diverse and valued community of staff, more reflective of the diversity of the UK public, by advancing equality of opportunity and diversity in all aspects of employment.

We embrace and celebrate the differences between people, recognising the value this brings to our working environment and to the services we provide to our customers and stakeholders.

In April 2021 we launched a new Recruitment Framework and Policy that puts our values and behaviours on an equal footing with skills, knowledge and experience, to break down barriers for applicants from under-represented backgrounds.

We are a Disability Confident employer, which means we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum essential criteria for every vacancy.

Find out more about our commitment to equal opportunities at The Heritage Fund.

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