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Equinet - European network of equality bodies

Great Britain: Equality and Human Rights Commission

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General Contact Information

Full name in English:

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Full name in the national language(s):

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Postal address:
Fleetbank House, 2 - 6 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8JX, United Kingdom

General email address:

Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS)

Telephone number:

0808 800 0082



Other social media channels:

Facebook profile: Equality and Human Rights Commission & Youtube

Languages in which your institution can be contacted:


Person of contact for media enquiries:

Martin Deller

Name of the Head of the equality body:

Rebecca Hilsenrath

Engagement with Equinet

Equinet Member since
Cluster : Working Group : Research & Data Collection
Andrew Harding
Working Group: Communication
Working Group: Gender Equality
Naomi Lumsdaine
Working Group: Equality Law
Lindsey Reynolds
Working Group: Policy Formation
Luaren Payne
Project : Implementing Standards
Christopher Corfield

Contact Person


David Coulter


Main Informations


The Equality and Human Rights Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. It encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 and is accredited by the UN as an ‘A status’ National Human Rights Institution.

Brief history

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (the Commission) is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006.The Commission was launched on 1 October 2007, following the merger of the former Equal Opportunities Commission, Commission for Racial Equality, and the Disability Rights Commission.

The Commission operates independently to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination, and protect and promote human rights. Our sponsor government department is the Home Office (Ministry of the Interior).

Britain is fortunate to have a strong equality and human rights legal framework to protect people from discrimination and violations of their basic rights and freedoms. However, the experiences of many people across England, Scotland and Wales often do not reflect what is set out in law.

It is the Commission’s role to make these rights and freedoms a reality for everyone. We use a range of powers to do so, by providing advice and guidance to individuals, employers and other organisations, reviewing the effectiveness of the law and taking legal enforcement action to clarify the law and address significant breaches of rights.

Further details on achievements over the last 10 years available at the following address:

Mandate type
  • Predominantly promotion-type and legal support body
Litigation powers
  • Representing in front of courts
  • Bringing proceedings in own name
  • Intervening before the court
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups (e.g. through trainings)yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Recommendations on discrimination issuesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Publications and reportsyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Research projects (including surveys)yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Our institution has a mandate to deal with:
  • Violence against women
  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
  • Hate crime
  • Hate speech
Other statistics
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)no datano datano datano datano datano datano datano datano datano data
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)38171415111038144133no data
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social mediano datano datano datano datano data54006838no datano datano data
  • Collegiate headed equality body (led by a distinct board/commission)
Management details

Strategic direction is given by the Board of Commissioners led by the Chair. The Board is responsible for approving the strategic plan, monitoring performance against the plan and ensuring appropriate systems of governance, accountability and control.

Additional details

The EHRC has a dual role as NEB (National Equality Body) and NHRI (National Human Rights Institution).

The EHRC works in conjunction with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, the Scottish Human Rights Commission and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC).

Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

Commissioners are recruited by open competition for a time limited period.

Senior staff members are recruited by open competition.

Number of staff dealing with equality issues
517376218201205201193172189no data
Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body
Grounds / FieldsEmploymentEducationHousingSocial Protection & HealthcareGoods & ServicesOther
Gender Identityyesyesyesyesyes
Race and Ethnic Originyesyesyesyesyes
Sexual Orientationyesyesyesyesyes
Religion & Beliefyesyesyesyesyes

Other grounds : Pregnancy and Maternity Marriage and Civil Partnership

Mandate covers:
  • Public sector
  • Private sector
Operating budget in euros
Additional information

We are 100% funded from central government.

We are accountable to:
  • National Ministry

Related News

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published the final products from its three-year programme of work on religion or belief. These consist of three documents: Religion or belief – is the law working?, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the religion or belief legal framework; online guidance for employers on key religion or belief topics; and online training modules on religion or belief for line managers (developed with ACAS) and union managers (developed with the TUC).


Equinet Calendar 2017

January 13th 2017

Equinet celebrates its 10th birthday this year! As a celebratory gesture, we have put together a 2017 calendar highlighting the work of some of our members across Europe.


In a recent judgement from the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, the court found that bus companies must end discriminatory ‘first come, first served’ policies, and do more to give priority to wheelchair users. Bus companies should have clear policies in place, and give training to drivers to remove the barriers wheelchair users face when using buses.


Being disabled in Britain is a review into disability inequality in Great Britain. It builds on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s statutory five-yearly report on equality and human rights progress in England, Scotland and Wales, Is Britain Fairer?.

The report includes chapters on six areas of life, including education, work, health, justice and participation in politics, looking at where there has been progress and where there are still serious issues to be tackled. It also looks at the experiences of those with different impairments and how these impact on people’s life chances.


The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has worked with spoken word artist George the Poet to create a powerful film looking at the role of hate crime in our society and the need for all of us to come together to challenge intolerance and report incidents of hate.


The Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a 5 point plan on how Britain can keep and strengthen its status as a world leader on equality and human rights after they leave the European Union. The plan covers: (1) protecting parliamentary sovereignty over the UK’s equality and human rights legal framework (2) keeping the UK’s equality and human rights legal framework as they leave the European Union (3) making sure the UK is a global leader on equality and human rights (4) protecting the UK’s equality and human rights infrastructure (5) promoting the UK as an open and fair place to live and do business.


As health and social care budgets are slashed, disabled people’s right to independent living is being continually eroded, the UK’s equality and human rights bodies have said.
The warning comes ahead of a UN examination of the UK’s track record on disabled people’s rights on 23-24 August, which will be attended by Equinet members ECNI and the EHRC, amongst others.


The Equality and Human Rights Commission have published a strategy setting out what needs to change and who needs to take action to reduce gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps.


The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published “Sexual harassment and the law: Guidance for employers.” Experiencing sexual harassment is one of the most difficult situations a person can face in the workplace. No workplace is immune to sexual harassment and a lack of reported cases does not necessarily mean that they have not occurred. Recent high-profile testimonies and sharing of experiences on social media have highlighted sexual harassment in a range of workplaces, and the real barriers that many experience in reporting it.


Equinet Calendar 2018

January 11th 2018

Equality bodies assist victims of discrimination in a wide variety of ways. This calendar highlights some of the work that our members do to promote equal treatment in their respective countries


This is the final report of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) research project looking at the effect of tax, welfare, social security and public spending.

Overall, changes to taxes, benefits, tax credits and Universal Credit (UC) announced since 2010 are regressive, however measured – that is, the largest impacts are felt by those with lower incomes. Those in the bottom two deciles will lose, on average, approximately 10% of net income, with much smaller losses for those higher up the income distribution.


This report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) shares evidence about sexual harassment in the workplace gathered from individuals and employers in Great Britain.


Bullying is widespread and can have harmful effects on children and young people’s attainment, ambition, emotional wellbeing and health.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published new help and advice on tackling prejudice-based bullying in schools by recording, reviewing and responding to data.


The Equality and Human Rights Commission commissioned research to help them understand public attitudes to human rights and to specific human rights issues, and inform their work to promote understanding of the importance of human rights. The research has focused in particular on gaining a more detailed picture of people with mixed views on human rights – a group identified in previous research – and their values and motivations to support human rights. This is a summary of the key findings and recommendations for talking to the public about human rights.


This is the first national survey of prejudice in Britain for over a decade. It measures prejudice and discrimination experienced by people with a wide range of protected characteristics.

The aim of this report is to demonstrate the value of using a national survey of this type to measure people’s experiences of prejudice in Britain, as well as people’s attitudes towards others. It also aims to set a benchmark for future surveys.


On 25 October, the Commission launched ‘Is Britain Fairer?’ (IBF), ‘Is Scotland Fairer?’ (ISF) and ‘Is Wales Fairer?’ (IWF) reports.

Is Britain Fairer? is a three-yearly project to review of the state of equality and human rights in England, Scotland and Wales. The reports examine six areas of everyday life to assess progress towards a fairer Britain over the last three years, highlighting trends, emerging issues and the action that needs to be taken now to improve the life chances of the next generation. The reports are available below:


Scotland will become the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded in the curriculum, the Scottish Government has announced. The Government accepted all 33 recommendations by the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group, created to improve the learning experience for LGBTI young people, in full. Work to implement the recommendations will start immediately. The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Scottish Office was on the working group from the outset.


Cost and fears about how they will be treated, or consequences for their immigration status, are preventing people seeking or refused asylum from using health services, a new report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission has found, prompting a call for greater separation of the immigration and healthcare systems.

Their new research explores the experiences of people who are or have been in the asylum process in Britain, as well as engaging with healthcare professionals and analysing existing research.