Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 aims to transform the practices of government and public authorities so that equality of opportunity and good relations are central to policy making and implementation. There are nine protected categories within the legislation.
As a designated public authority, Ulster University is required to comply with the two statutory duties outlined in Section 75:
Section 75 (1)
In carrying out functions relating to Northern Ireland, public bodies are required 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;
- men and women generally;
- persons with a disability and persons without; and
- persons with dependants and persons without.
Section 75 (2)
In addition, without prejudice to the obligations above, public authorities are required to have regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.
The equality duty is given stronger legal weight than the good relations duty as the term “due regard” was intended to be and is, stronger than “regard”.
Under Section 75, the University is required to set out in an Equality Scheme, approved by the Equality Commission, how it proposes to fulfil the duties imposed by Section 75 in relation to its relevant functions in Northern Ireland. You can also view a Summary of the Equality Scheme.
The equality scheme outlines the University's arrangements for:
Further information and additional legislation covering the 9 protected categories above, is available here Equality Commission.