Our public sector equality duty
As a public authority, we have specific responsibilities connected to equality.
We need to make sure we:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited under the act
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant 'protected characteristic' and people who do not share it
- foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.
Councils must understand the impact of their policies and practices on people with protected characteristics.
The nine protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act are age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; gender and sexual orientation.
Councils have a specific duty to publish information to demonstrate their equality compliance. This must include information relating to employees who share a protected characteristic, and local people affected by its policies and practices.
The council publishes an annual employment monitoring report presenting the workforce profile across protected characteristics.
Any report requiring a decision from our Executive, or a scrutiny committee, will include equalities implications. These indicate which protected characteristics are affected and how. If the impact is negative, the assessment will detail ways the effect can be reduced.
Our five equality objectives as set out in our equality and diversity strategy are:
- reducing inequality by improving outcomes for local residents
- providing ‘equality friendly’ services to all customers
- improving resident/service user perceptions of fair treatment by the council
- improving workforce representation to reflect the communities we serve
- improving workforce perceptions of fair treatment by the council.