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.
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.