The specific duties require a public authority to set itself ‘one or more objectives it thinks it should achieve’ to fulfil any of the aims of the general equality duty. These must be published by 6 April 2012 and thereafter at least every four years.
Equality objectives must:
- Be specific and measurable;
- Set out how progress towards achieving them will be measured;
- Include consideration of equality data and analysis.
Objectives should explicitly address an aspect of the general duty, but not necessarily all three aspects. It is not necessary to set a separate objective for each protected characteristic unless this appears desirable.
An institution’s equality objectives should be derived from its review of equality data – both internal and external – in relation to all the protected characteristics and should seek to tackle specific examples of inequality in a practical, achievable manner. They should be proportionate to the size and available resources of the institution and contain measurable targets towards completion. Objectives – and targets – may be revised during their four-year lifespan if necessary and new objectives may be set as appropriate.