Chair- Equality and Human Rights Commission

Body: Equality and Human Rights Commission
Appointing Department: Cabinet Office
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Charity & Public Sector, Communities, Education, Health and Social Care, International, Judicial, Prison & Policing, Regulation, Transport
Location: London
Skills required: Audit and Risk, Business / Commercial, Change Management, Communication / Media / Marketing, IT / Digital, Legal / Judicial, Major Projects, Regulation, Transformation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The remuneration for the post is a per diem rate of £500/day for 1-2 days per week (up to 100 days per year).
Time Requirements: The Board meets at least six times a year and additionally at the Chair’s discretion. The meetings are usually held in London. Additional time will be required to liaise with the Chief Executive and other officers, to study papers and undertake representational work, such as visits and meetings with strategic partners. The time commitment for the Chair is approximately 1-2 days per week (up to 100 days per year). Appointments to the EHRC are for between 2 and 5 years. Following the Tailored Review of the EHRC, we expect the candidate will commit to the role for at least 3 years. It is envisaged the candidate will take up the role in December 2020 or January 2021. Applications are welcomed from as diverse a range of applicants and mix of backgrounds as possible.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

The Minister for Women and Equalities has appointed Baroness Falkner of Margravine as Chair for the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Baroness Falkner started her term as Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission on 1 December 2020 following the formal scrutiny process.

Date: 15/10/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    09/08/2020 23:59

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Pre-appointment Parliamentary Scrutiny


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for International Trade and Minister for Women and Equalities is seeking a strong, strategic leader who will continue to develop the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and set the Commission’s overall direction to reflect its crucial role as an equality body and National Human Rights Institution. This appointment fulfils the requirement of the Equality Act 2006 that the Secretary of State should appoint a Chair to the Commission. Although the Commission is an independent organisation, the Chair is accountable to the above sponsoring Minister.

You will develop and maintain high-value relationships with Ministers, influential partners, governments at home and abroad, opinion formers, industry and others, demonstrating judgment, integrity and resilience in the face of challenge.

The successful candidate will be an outstanding leader, a credible and effective public face for the organisation, with the skills to build strategic partnership(s).

The preferred candidate for the post of Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission will be required to appear before a Parliamentary Select Committee prior to appointment.

Person Specification

The Chair has particular responsibility for ensuring the Board operates effectively and makes collegiate and inclusive decisions, and observes high ethical standards as set out in the Nolan principles for conduct in public life. Working in partnership with the Chief Executive, and other members of the Board, the Chair will have responsibility for:

a) strategic leadership of the Board in setting the overall direction, policy and plans for the Commission;
b) encouraging high standards of propriety and supporting the Chief Executive to promote the efficient and effective use of staff and other resources in the context of financial constraints; improvement
c) representing the EHRC in discussions with Ministers and forging strong relations with Whitehall, Parliament, and other strategic partners, domestically and internationally;
d) supporting Commissioners, including the Chief Executive, in undertaking their roles, including agreeing objectives and undertaking annual appraisals;
e) raising the external profile of the EHRC, including through high-profile enforcement involving inquiries and investigations;
f) articulating a clear vision of how the EHRC can support fair and effective enforcement of the equalities law in Great Britain, and working collaboratively with the Government Equalities Office to maximise the EHRC’s impact.

In addition, as a member of the Board, the Chair shares corporate responsibility for:

a) agreeing the Commission’s strategic plan and business plan and priorities and ensuring delivery of its business plan;
b) ensuring that the Commission has proper internal controls, systems and processes in place to safeguard the use of public funds and manage risk; and
c) promoting and protecting the EHRC’s position, values, mission, vision, integrity, image and reputation.

Essential criteria

Candidates must demonstrate, in their CV and supporting letter, how they meet the selection criteria for the post, through their knowledge, skills and experience.

  •  a strong understanding of and demonstrable commitment to equality and human rights which is credible;
  • a commitment to exercising impartial and independent judgement, drawing sound conclusions that differentiate and weigh up competing arguments that are capable of justification under close scrutiny;
  • the ability to lead a major high-profile organisation, including ability to chair the board and provide effective challenge and support to the organisation;
  • outstanding relationship building skills, with the ability to command respect, build networks quickly and work with and through others to achieve objectives;
  • an understanding of a political landscape in Great Britain and an ability to develop a strong and credible relationship with Ministers and senior Whitehall officials;
  • excellent communication skills, including the ability to operate effectively and comfortably as an ambassador for the organisation;
  • the ability to lead and develop the Commission with a diverse membership that represents often competing priorities;
  • the ability to understand and interpret financial information and to provide effective challenge to the Chief Executive on the regularity and propriety of the EHRC’s spend and business activities;
  • high standards of integrity, commitment to public service values, and an understanding of the principles and practices of corporate governance.

Applicants will be assessed against these criteria in their application and any subsequent interview.

Additional Information

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory non-departmental public body established under the Equality Act 2006. It is the independent body responsible for promoting and enforcing the laws that protect fairness, dignity and respect. Further information on the Commission and its work can be found in the candidate information pack, which accompanies this vacancy, or on the Commission’s website at:

How to Apply

The process for this public appointment will adhere to the Governance Code on Public Appointments, which came into effect on 1 January 2017. For details of how to apply, please refer to the candidate information pack which accompanies this vacancy.

Applications are welcomed from as diverse a range of applicants as possible. We guarantee to interview any disabled applicant whose application meets the minimum criteria for the post – this is known as Offering an Interview to Disabled People.

The closing date for applications is 5:00pm on Monday 03 August 2020.

Disability Confident Offering an Interview
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