Leicester Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). Equalities considerations within the JSNA, 2016.
The public sector have two sets of duties in regard to their consideration of equalities implications of what they do. The first is the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) as set out in Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.
The PSED requires us to be mindful of the following when we make our decisions regarding the provision of services to the public:
- that we eliminate discrimination
- that we promote equality of opportunity
- that we foster good relations between different groups.
Our second duty lies within the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and that is to reduce health inequalities. In order to meet both duties, it is crucial that the council and its partners understand who our service users are, their needs, and how best to meet them. The JSNA is a key source that compiles information needed by commissioners and service providers to inform their respective approaches and ensure they achieve their mandated outcomes as set in these two duties.
Our PSED requires us to consider the implications of anything we do on the basis of people’s ‘protected characteristics’ as set out in the Equality Act 2010. These protected characteristics are:
- pregnancy or maternity
- religion or belief
- sex (gender)
- gender recognition
- sexual orientation
- marriage and civil partnership (in some circumstances).
Anti-discrimination legislation is based on strong evidence that, when discrimination occurs, it occurs due to these factors. In order to ensure that we as service planners and providers are not inadvertently continuing that discrimination against people on this basis, we need to be continually mindful of how we are addressing needs related to these protected characteristics.
Appendix 1 of the JSNA (downloadable below) presents an index of where different protected characteristics are referenced within the various sections of the JSNA. It is up to the reader to explore sections more fully for the implications of various protected characteristics within the specific context in which they are interested. This will be updated regularly, as further sections are added to the JSNA web pages.