The consultation seeks the views of key stakeholders and the general public on the content of these important documents, which outline how the Department will fulfil its statutory equality and disability duties. These are the first such documents produced by the Department since its establishment in May 2016.
What is the Equality Scheme?
Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (the Act) requires public authorities, in carrying out their functions, to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity and regard to the desirability of promoting good relations across a range of categories outlined in the Act.
This draft Equality Scheme sets out how the Department proposes to fulfil the Section 75 statutory duties (the Duties.)
What is the Audit of Inequalities?
Statutory guidance by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (EQNI), entitled ‘Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998: A guide for Public Authorities’ recommends that Departments and other public authorities undertake an Audit of Inequalities, by examining their functions and how these relate to the promotion of equality and good relations. Our Audit of Inequalities is intended to provide a strategic picture of inequalities and to take stock of the social and economic inequalities that provide the context for the Department’s activities. It also provides the basis for an Action Plan to address inequalities relevant to our functions, and to define how we might intervene through policies, programmes and services to reduce inequalities.
What is the Disability Action Plan?
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires public authorities, when carrying out their functions, to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people and encourage participation by disabled people in public. Our draft Disability Action Plan shows how we propose to fulfil these duties in relation to our functions.
How to respond
We encourage respondents to make use of the e-response questionnaire to respond to this consultation wherever possible and this is the Department’s preferred method of receiving responses. To access this response questionnaire see "Respond online" link below.
Alternatively, responses may be submitted by completing the above response questionnaire in WORD format and returning it to the Department by email or by post.
Responses must be received no later than Tuesday 16 April 2019
A Privacy Notice, which sets out what we will do with information that you provide to us, is included with the response questionnaire.
The documents are also available in a range of formats on request.