DfC Equality

Equality Scheme

Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act places a statutory obligation on Public Authorities to carry out their functions with due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity and good relations in respect of religious belief, political opinion, gender, race, disability, age, marital status, dependants and sexual orientation.

The DfC Equality scheme sets out how the Department is committed to meeting its statutory obligations on the promotion of equality and good relations under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act. The scheme is available in alternative format if required.

DfC 5 Year Review of Equality Scheme 2016-2021

An equality scheme describes certain arrangements that a public authority has set-up and which it is obliged to apply and follow as a means of fulfilling the duties imposed on it by Section 75(1) and (2) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.Public authorities who have Section 75 equality schemes are obliged to review those schemes periodically.

A 5 year review covering the period May 2016 to March 2021 was undertaken to examine how the arrangements have been applied and to assess how effective they have been in assisting the Department to comply with the Section 75 duties.

Equality Scheme Section 75 Complaints Procedure

This explains how the Department's Equality Scheme Complaints Procedure works in relation to Section 75 complaints. A Section 75 complaint can be made by a person who believes that they have been directly affected by a failure of the Department to comply with its Equality Scheme.

Annual Report to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

The Department's Equality Scheme commits the Department to submitting a formal review of progress, on an annual basis, to the Equality Commission, setting out the action taken to fulfil its Section 75 commitments.

Section 75 Action Plan

The Section 75 Action Plan will detail known key inequalities that exist in Northern Ireland. Some relate to the work of the Department and this plan sets out what the Department is doing and intends to do to help address these inequalities.

Disability Action Plan

The DfC Disability Action Plan sets out how the Department proposes to fulfil the duties under Section 49A of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in relation to its functions, for the period 2020-2024 The Department is committed to keeping the Disability Action Plan as a living document which may be added to or amended over its lifespan. If you feel that your business area could contribute to promoting ‘disability duties’ over the remaining period of the plan, the Equality Unit would be happy to discuss. Please contact equality unit at equality.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk.

Policies Screened

The Department is committed to publishing Screening Templates and Screening Reports containing details of all Policies screened in the quarter.

If you have any queries about any of the screening exercises completed in this quarter please contact equality.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Policies screened during the period: 1 January to 31 March 2023

Screening Archive


Section 75 Consultees

In fulfilling the Department's obligations under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act, the Department's Equality Scheme includes a commitment to consult with the Equality Commission and representative groups of Section 75 categories on the implementation of existing policy and creation of new policy with regards to equality of opportunity and good relations.

View the List of Section 75 Consultees

Equality Unit

The Equality Unit in the Department has lead responsibility for helping the Department meet its statutory commitments set out in Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The Unit provides advice to managers and staff throughout the Department on equality matters and helps the Department meet its obligations contained in the Equality Scheme.

For more information please contact the Equality Unit

Audit of Inequalities 2021-2022

In line with our statutory equality duties under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 the Department for Communities (DfC) has undertaken an audit of inequalities.

This audit will set the framework for DfC to address inequalities impacting on Section 75 categories relevant to its functions and will enable the Department to identify areas where it can better promote equality of opportunity and good relations for our service users and those affected by our policies.

Further Information

More about Section 75 and the disability duties can be found on the Equality Commission website.

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