The Equality Act 2010 and The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 require public authorities, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other prohibited conduct
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not
- foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
The Equality Act defines the following as protected characteristics:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
Specific duties apply when a public authority awards a contract or framework agreement which is covered by:
- When a public authority awards a contract or framework agreement on the basis of the most economically advantageous offer, it must have due regard to whether the award criteria should include considerations to enable it to better perform the equality duty.
- When a public authority proposes to stipulate performance conditions in a contract or framework agreement, it must have due regard to whether the conditions should include considerations to enable it to better perform the equality duty.
Further information on this topic:
The Scottish Government has worked with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to produce guidance on equalities in procurement for Scottish public bodies.