December 2017

We welcome the opportunity to provide advice to inform the Committee's Inquiry into local approaches to poverty reduction: The Well-Being of Future Generations Act and Public Service Boards.

1.   Public Sector Equality Duty

The Equality and Human Rights Commission regulates the Public Sector Equality Duty and Specific Duties in Wales. Neither the Future Generations Commissioner nor public service boards (PSBs) are as yet listed under Part 2 of Schedule 19 to the 2010 Act. They are not therefore covered by the PSED.

However, Section 44 of the 2017 Wales Act amends the Equality Act 2010 in relation to the list of public authorities in Wales to whom Equality Act 2010 obligations apply (see Part 2 of Schedule 19 to the 2010 Act).

The Wales Act 2017, Section 44(2), removes the present obligation on the Welsh Ministers when making an order amending Schedule 19 to obtain the consent of a Minister of the Crown. Henceforth the Welsh Ministers will have to consult the EHRC and inform a Minister of the Crown after making such an order.

We have recently written to Welsh Government suggesting that the Welsh Government consults the EHRC with a view to adding the Future Generations Commissioner and Public Service Boards to Part 2 of Schedule 19. The Committee may want to support the view that the Future Generations Commissioner and the  Public Service Boards should be covered by the Public Sector Equality Duty in order to help tackle inequality in Wales.

2.   Equality considerations

Whether listed under Schedule 19 or not, we would recommend that when considering areas set out within the terms of reference the Committee pays particular attention to:

·        Engagement: how people representing different protected groups have been involved in considerations such as targeting improvements to public services in Wales’s most deprived communities.


·        Equality information: whether information and evidence used by PSBs, for example, in targeting improvements to public services in Wales, and in the development of local Well-Being Plans in relation to the needs and experiences of people living in poverty, is disaggregated by protected characteristic. If so, was the information used to inform decision making?



·        Assessment of impact:whether the likely impact of proposed policies and practices on protected groups has been assessed.


3.   Is Wales Fairer?

The Commission’s Is Wales Fairer? report identified seven key equality and human rights challenges that need to be addressed in Wales. Within its terms of reference the Committee may wish to consider how well PSBs are addressing the challenges outlined.

We are currently conducting a programme of engagement with PSBs across Wales to discuss their approach to promoting equality and tackling socio-economic disadvantage. We will share our findings with the Committee, and the Committee’s Inquiry findings will inform our ongoing work on this area.

4.   About the Equality and Human Rights Commission


The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006. It operates independently to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination, and protect and promote human rights. It contributes to making and keeping Britain a fair society in which everyone, regardless of background, has an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. It encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 and is accredited by the UN as an ‘A status’ National Human Rights Institution. Find out more about the Commission’s work at: