From Equality and Human Rights Commission <[email protected]>
Subject News from EHRC: Equality Act anniversary | Assessing Home Office policies | Successful legal action
Date July 29, 2020 4:02 PM
  Links have been removed from this email. Learn more in the FAQ.
  Links have been removed from this email. Learn more in the FAQ.
News from the Equality and Human Rights Commission

View on web ( [link removed] )

Equality and Human Rights Commission ( [link removed] )

Twitter logo ( [link removed] ) LinkedIn logo ( [link removed] )
Facebook logo ( [link removed] ) YouTube logo ( [link removed] )

July 2020

Equality Act anniversary branding

Marking ten years of the Equality Act


2020 marks a decade since the implementation of the Equality Act
2010. In October 2010, it replaced previous anti-discrimination
laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and
strengthening protection in some situations. The Act helps to
make Britain an open, equal and inclusive society where everyone
is offered a fair chance in life.

Whilst we know the journey is far from over, we’re proud of how
far Britain has come to protect people from discrimination. From
equal pay to same sex marriage, hard won rights have changed the
way people can live their lives for the better.

We know the job is not done and that’s why we marking the tenth
anniversary of the Equality Act by calling on you to not just
celebrate progress to date but to help continue this legacy. The
ten-year anniversary of the Act is a key opportunity to engage
the public on all that the UK has achieved on equality and on the
progress which needs to continue. The Equality Act protects us
all from discrimination on the basis of any of the nine protected
characteristics identified by UK law: Age, Disability, Gender
reassignment, Marriage and civil partnership, Pregnancy and
maternity, Race, Religion or belief, Sex and Sexual orientation.

Over the coming months you’ll see us and our partners using the
distinctive Equality Act 10 branding to commemorate the
anniversary of the Equality Act, as well as highlighting other
key moments of progress on the ongoing path to equality. The
branding is free to use for anyone wanting to celebrate the
anniversary of the Act – please email
[email protected] (
[email protected] ) if you’d like more

Image of Home Office

Assessing Home Office compliance with the Public Sector Equality
Duty whilst implementing hostile environment policies


We are using our enforcement powers to assess how the Home Office
considered the impact of its so-called ‘hostile environment’
immigration policies on the Windrush generation. We want to know
how and whether the department met its Public Sector Equality
Duty (PSED) obligations when developing, implementing and
monitoring these policies. These policies required additional
proof of immigration status and led to the serious injustices
experienced by the Windrush generation and their descendants.

We have now published the Terms of Reference ( [link removed] ) for our assessment, which is being carried out under Section 31
of the Equality Act 2006. Based on the findings of our
assessment, and in consultation with individuals affected, race
equality leaders and other partners, we will make recommendations
to the Home Office. These will be used to inform the Home
Office’s policies and procedures in the future. We will complete
the assessent by September 2020.

As part of this assessment, we are now receiving the views of
representative groups and organisations of Black members of the
Windrush generation, as well as affected members of that group,
to understand what the Home Office did to understand the impact
of its policies and practices and make recommendations to inform
the department’s future policymaking.

Find out more about the assessment ( [link removed] )

Image of woman holding mobile phone

Police to end controversial data extraction after legal
challenge by rape survivors

We welcome the recent announcement by the National Police Chiefs
Council that they are withdrawing the current digital data
extraction forms controversially used in rape and sexual offence
cases. This announcement follows a legal challenge brought by
Centre for Women's Justice and funded by us which argued that the
use of these forms was unlawful, discriminatory and led to
excessive and intrusive disclosure requests.

Last year the National Police Chiefs Council, the Crown
Prosecution Service and the College of Policing published
guidance on the collection of digital data from the phones of
alleged victims of rape or sexual assault. This caused concern
that victims were essentially being required to hand over all
their personal data before an investigation could proceed.

The Information Commissioner recently published a report on
‘Digital Data Extraction’ which expressed concern that
consideration was not being given to proportionality or necessity
when requests were made for victims to hand over their full
digital data history. The ICO report followed an 18-month
investigation, which reviewed a number of different police
forces’ procedures for extraction of mobile phone data and found
‘no evidence’ of police officers considering less intrusive
alternatives to mobile phone extraction.

The National Police Chiefs Council have now said that searches of
digital devices should not be automatic and will happen only when
the investigating officer or prosecutor considers there to be a
need to access information to pursue a reasonable line of

Find out more about this issue ( [link removed] )

“Digital data extraction forms are an invasion of privacy at a
time when victims of crime are at their most vulnerable. There is
no evidence that they are necessary in building a case. As they
are predominantly applied to survivors of rape or sexual assault,
they disproportionately impact on women and act as a
discriminatory barrier to justice.

“We are proud to have assisted in the challenge by two brave
claimants who brought this issue to the fore with the Centre for
Women’s Justice. We welcome the decision from the National Police
Chief’s Council and hope it leads to improving confidence in the
justice system on the part of survivors of sexual assault.”

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive, Equality and Human Rights

Image of woman with guide dog on platform

LNER to improve services for disabled travellers

Train operating company LNER has entered into a legal agreement
with us to improve its service for disabled passengers.

We funded legal action against LNER from a visually impaired
customer who received inadequate support and assistance whilst
travelling with the service. Since the conclusion of the legal
action, we have been working with LNER to improve how they
support disabled passengers to use their trains, with a focus on
their Passenger Assist offer.

This agreement, signed by us using our powers under Section 23 of
the Equality Act, means that LNER must carry out the changes they
have agreed and will be subject to a higher level of scrutiny to
ensure that they are not discriminating against disabled
passengers. LNER has now said it aims to be the most accessible
rail operator in the UK.

Find out more ( [link removed] )

Image of front door

Court rules that landlords cannot refuse to let to benefit

In a case funded by us and taken by homelessness charity Shelter
(with support from the Nationwide Foundation), York County Court
has ruled that a housing agent who refused to let any properties
to a single mum who receives housing benefit acted unlawfully, as
their policy was indirectly discriminatory against women and
disabled people.

This means that private landlords and letting agents must drive
out 'no DSS' policies for good, or risk legal action if they
continue to bar benefit recipients from renting.

'No DSS' policies put in place by landlords and letting agents
prevent recipients of housing benefits from renting properties
they could otherwise afford. Women and people with disabilities
are more likely to be in receipt of housing benefits and this
policy therefore disproportonately impacts those people.

Find out more ( [link removed] )

Image of Caroline Waters

Fresh perspectives for a new age

In an opinion piece on the future of work, our Deputy Chair
Caroline Waters argues that the coronavirus pandemic has shown us
that it is possible for successful careers to co-exist with a
fulfilling life where we make time for family and friends. And,
as we slowly emerge from the pandemic, we have an opportunity to
supercharge progress and design a more equitable future for

Read Caroline's blog ( [link removed] )

Webinar: Ensuring your coronavirus response is inclusive of
all – how the Public Sector Equality Duty can inform your actions

Do you work in the public sector in England, particularly in
local government or health and social care? Do you want to learn
more about using the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) to ensure
your organisation is practically considering and responding to
the needs of people with different protected characteristics as
you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Join our free webinar on Wednesday 2 September to hear
from representatives from the Equality and Human Rights
Commission, the Care Quality Commission and Devon County
Council. This session will explore how duty-bearing organisations
can use the PSED to ensure that they are practically considering
and responding to the needs of people with different protected
characteristics, both as they respond to the pandemic and in its

These are unprecedented times and there is no one response that
is 'right' - our webinar will give you top tips of how to make
decisions which take into account the potential impacts on people
with different protected characteristics. You'll also hear from
colleagues about the practical actions they are taking to uphold
equality and human rights in this rapidly changing environment.
We also encourage delegates to share their own experiences and

This webinar is particularly relevant for colleagues with
strategic responsibility for adherence to Public Sector Equality
Duty and/or Equality & Diversity experts working in local or
regional authorities or in health and social care settings in
England. It may also be of interest to representatives from
central government and other local or regional public sector
organisations, as well as those from private and not-for-profit
sector organisations who deliver services for public bodies. This
session is aimed at organisations working within England, as
requirements differ for those who operate in Scotland or Wales.

Book your place now ( [link removed] )

Last chance to apply

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) is currently recruiting
for a new Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and
up to four Non-executive Commissioners, including a new Wales

The deadline for applications for these roles is 5pm on Monday 3
August. Full details of the three roles and information on how to
apply is available via the links below.

Chair of the Commission vacancy ( [link removed] )

Non-executive commissioner vacancy ( [link removed] )

Wales Commissioner vacancy ( [link removed] )

Stay connected

Twitter ( [link removed] ) LinkedIn ( [link removed] )
Facebook ( [link removed] )
YouTube ( [link removed] )

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, EC4Y 8JX

Privacy information ( [link removed] )

Unsubscribe ( [link removed] )


To unsubscribe, visit: [link removed]

Screenshot of the email generated on import

Message Analysis