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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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Equality guidance for charities

Charity trustees have a duty to ensure that their charity complies with the law. This means that trustees must be aware of all the legal requirements which may affect their charity, including when setting up a new charity, registering or running a charity. 

To support charities in this process, and promote understanding of how charities may be affected by equality obligations contained in a large number of pieces of Northern Ireland legislation, the Commission has produced Equality guidance for charities in Northern Ireland, which is available below:

CCNI EG043 Equality guidance for charities in Northern Ireland

Download PDF (380.2 KB)

Guidance overview

Equality legislation requires service providers, including charities, not to discriminate on certain grounds when they provide services to the public. There are, however, some exceptions for charities, which allow them to be established or operate for the benefit of certain groups of people, and not others. 

The guidance provides an overview of key aspects of equality legislation which may affect charities, including in terms of how they meet the public benefit requirement and how they deliver their services. There is information about equality obligations, exceptions for charities and the rules that govern the use of exceptions.

The Commission does not regulate or monitor organisations on their equality obligations as that is the role of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (the Equality Commission). We would like to acknowledge the assistance we received from the Equality Commission in producing this guidance. 

Charities with complex issues concerning equality should seek advice from the Equality Commission www.equalityni.org

This guidance was consulted on in 2015. For information on the consultation please refer to the Closed consultations section of the website.