Equality and diversity

Gender Pay Gap

The Government has introduced a legal requirement on all organisations with over 250 employees to produce a Gender Pay Gap Report. This is part of a strategy to eliminate the gap in pay between men and women that exists in the UK.

Equality Action Plan

We are committed to positively promoting equality of opportunity and valuing diversity. 

The Equality Advisory Service  is a free helpline advising and assisting individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights, across England, Scotland and Wales. 

Equality Impact Assessments

Equality Impact Assessment is the general term used for the documented evidence collected by the Council when it is assessing that 'due regard' has been given to the three aims of the Public Sector Equality Duty, when exercising its functions, policies or decision making in respect of the protected characteristics.

Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 imposes a duty on 'public authorities' and other bodies when exercising public functions to have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act
  • advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
  • foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

Protected Characteristics

The Act sets out nine protected characteristics:

  • race
  • disability
  • sex
  • sexual orientation-
  • gender reassignment
  • age
  • religion or belief
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity

Due regard

Bodies subject to the Duty must have due regard to each of the three aims set out in the general equality Duty in exercising their functions.

To 'have due regard' means that in making decisions and in its other day-to-day activities a body subject to the Duty must consciously consider the need to do the things set out in the general equality Duty: eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.

Compliance with the Duty should enable the Council to have:

  • better-informed decision-making and policy development
  • a clearer understanding of the needs of service users, resulting in better quality services which meet varied needs
  • more effective targeting of policy, resources and the use of regulatory powers
  • better results and greater confidence in, and satisfaction with, public services
  • a more effective use of talent in the workforce
  • a reduction in instances of discrimination and resulting claims. 

Technical guidance PDF (1 MB) has been issued from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (January 2013), to help further explain this.

The Council continues to assess its functions and policies in a proportionate manner when relevant to the Duty and documents all evidence of decision making in accordance with the new guidance.

Impact assessments give us an opportunity to:

  • Consult with our customers
  • Improve access and remove any barriers to opportunities
  • Make sure that equality is considered in all the policies and services we develop or decisions we make.
  • Develop action plans to improve services
  • Document best practice and the things we do well
  • Provide audit trails and evidence of how decisions were reached.

How do we carry out an equality impact assessment?

  • We gather information about how functions might affect people with a protected characteristic. This might be:
    • Statistical data
    • Service user data
    • By engaging with people and groups who can help us understand how our services might affect them differently
    • Using external sources of information
  • We consider other significant issues such as social deprivation
  • We consider what actions to take to mitigate adverse impacts
  • We complete an Equality Impact Assessment form, for checking by managers and for inclusion in committee reports when the decision is made.
  • We monitor the action plans