Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998
Section 75 and schedule 9 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 came into force on the 01 January 2000 and placed a statutory obligation on public authorities in carrying out their various functions relating to Northern Ireland, to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity -
- between persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation;
- between men and women generally;
- between persons with a disability and persons without; and
- between persons with dependants and persons without.
In addition, without prejudice to this obligation, Public Authorities are also required to have regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion, and racial group.
The statutory obligations are implemented through Equality Schemes, approved by the Equality Commission, and by the screening of policies and the carrying out of Equality Impact Assessments (EQIAs) as required.
Schedule 9 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 requires that all public authorities who are designated under the Act must set out in an Equality Scheme how it proposes to fulfil the duties imposed by Section 75 of the Act. These schemes are approved by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.
An equality scheme outlines the public authority's arrangements for:
- assessing its compliance with the duties under Section 75;
- assessing and consulting on the likely impact of policies on the promotion of equality of opportunity;
- monitoring any adverse impact of policies on the promotion of equality of opportunity;
- publishing the results of such assessments;
- training staff;
- ensuring and assessing public access to information and services provided by the public authority.
The University's Equality Scheme was revised and subsequently approved by the Equality Commission in June 2012. A copy of the revised scheme can be viewed by clicking here Equality Scheme