Public Sector Equality Duty

Public Sector Equality Duty

‌The public sector equality duty (PSED) came into force on 5 April 2011, replacing the previous separate equality duties for race, disability and gender. The PSED consists of a general duty supported by specific duties. In Scotland these were commences on 27 May 2012. The University is covered by the general duty and the specific duties.

For the PSED the relevant protected characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

The general duty has three needs. It requires HEIs, in the exercise of its functions, to have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups, considering the need to:
  • Remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics.
  • Meet the needs of people with protected characteristics.
  • Encourage people with protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is low.
  • Foster good relations between people from different groups, tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups.

In order to demonstrate due regard, institutions must consider the three needs of the general duty when making decisions, for example, when:

  • Developing, evaluation and reviewing policies.
  • Designing, delivering and evaluation services, including education provision.
  • Commissioning and procuring services from others.

For more information, please see the documents below:

Equality Mainstreaming Report 2021

Gender Equality Plan

Race Pay Gap Data


Pause carousel

Play carousel