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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. To implement this obligation, we have produced an Equality Scheme which has been approved by the Equality Commission.

Equality Scheme

The DSD Equality Scheme (PDF 160KB) was approved by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland on the 13th December 2013. The 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.

Equality Scheme Section 75 Complaints Procedure

This explains how the Department’s Equality Scheme Complaints Procedure works in relation to Section 75 complaints. It helps ensure that all staff in the Department have uniform procedures for dealing with Section 75 complaints from people who believe 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.

Disability Action Plan

The DSD Disability Action Plan 2011 - 2013 (Word 145KB) 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 2011 - 2013.

Policies screened

Screening of Policies in accordance with Section 75 of the Northern Ireland act 1998


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.

Equality Unit

The Equality Unit in the Department for Social Development 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

Further Information

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