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Question for Women and Equalities

UIN 183222, tabled on 19 April 2021

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of implementing Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010 to help (a) tackle existing disadvantages and inequalities and (b) protect socio-economic rights.

Answered on

23 April 2021

Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010 would require a public body, in taking strategic decisions, to have due regard to the desirability of exercising them in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage. As a “due regard” duty, this requires no specific action from the public body concerned, and risks becoming a tick-box exercise, complied with to minimise the risk of legal challenge rather than to promote real change in society. It is also wrongly focussed on equalising socio-economic outcomes rather than opportunities.

Instead this Government prefers to progress specific policies and practical actions that will deliver real change. We are promoting social mobility and tackling inequality through a range of initiatives – for example in education, through reforms to the welfare system, and by giving greater developmental devolution in England and rebalancing the economy through schemes such as the Towns Fund.

Answered by

Women and Equalities
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