Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission promotes and monitors equality and human rights, providing institutional support for the Human Rights Act.

The Government Equalities Office sponsors the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

About the Equality and Human Rights Commission

The EHRC was established in October 2007 with a broad remit. It replaced and took over the work of the Equal Opportunities Commission, Commission for Racial Equality and Disability Rights Commission and was also given responsibility for promoting equality and tackling discrimination in respect of age, sexual orientation and religion or belief, promoting good relations between groups, and providing institutional support for human rights.

The EHRC's equality work covers England, Scotland and Wales. However, Scotland has its own Human Rights Commission.

More information is available on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

Reform

On 22 March 2011 we launched a consultation on proposals to reform the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The consultation closed on 15 June 2011.

We want the EHRC to become a valued and respected national institution. To do so, we believe it must focus on the areas where it can add value - as an independent equality body and 'A - rated' national human rights institution. And, it must be able to show that it is using taxpayers' money wisely.

Taking account of the views expressed in our consultation, the government has decided to scrap vague, unnecessary and obsolete provisions from the Equality Act 2006, to focus the EHRC on its core functions.

In parallel, we are implementing a strong package of non-legislative measures, including:

We consider that this package has the potential to transform the EHRC into the valued and respected national institution that we all want to see, but we will review the EHRC's progress at its next triennial review in autumn 2013.

The government's response to the consultation is now available.

You can also view our impact assessment and our policy equality statement.

Review of EHRC's provision of equality information, advice and support

The Government Equalities Office also carried out a separate review of the commission's provision of equality information, advice and support  to inform the spending review.

Following the review, the government concluded that it should continue to fund information and advice to potential victims of discrimination and human rights breaches, but that the EHRC should not be funded to deliver this service. Therefore the government decided to commission a new service from a private sector or civil society organisation or a combination of both, and issued a contract notice on 27 September 2011.

You can read through the service's specifications.

The procurement for the Equality Advisory and Support service is ongoing and the move to negotiations has been taken to provide the best value for money for taxpayers. We now expect the new service to be launched in September 2012.

On 9 December 2011, the government has provided more information on the future arrangements for information, advice and support on discrimination and human rights.

Share |