Equality and diversity
In this section
Equality Act 2010
What the equality act is and what we are doing as a council
The Equality Act brings together nine large equality laws and about a hundred smaller laws. Bringing these laws together into one act makes it a lot easier for employers and other people to know what they must do.
The Equality Act also strengthens the previous equality laws by
- protecting more groups of people, such as breast feeding mothers, older people and carers
- doing more to protect disabled people
- allowing employers to take extra steps to make sure their workforce is diverse
- making sure clubs do not treat people unfairly
- asking public bodies to do more with the Public Sector Equality Duty.
The Equality Act and the Public Sector Equality Duty
The Public Sector Equality Duty is part of the Equality Act. It applies to public sector organisations, like councils. It says that we must consider the needs of all individuals in the way we work, when shaping policy, delivering services and in relation to our own employees. We can play our part in making society fairer by tackling discrimination and providing equality of opportunity for all.
The public sector equality duty has three aims. We must show how we have worked to
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act.
- Improve equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
The ‘protected characteristics’ covered by the equality duty are
- gender reassignment
- pregnancy and maternity
- race – this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
- religion or belief – this includes lack of belief
- sex (men, women, boys and girls)
- sexual orientation
The duty applies to marriage and civil partnership too, but only in relation to the first aim (to eliminate unlawful discrimination).
What Three Rivers District Council is doing
We've published our new equalities, diversity and inclusion objectives for the next four years and are currently consulting on our new policy.
We provide training for our staff about the Equality Act.
We carry out equalities monitoring to ensure our policies and services affect people fairly.
We are continuing to produce equality impact assessments for our policies, projects and services and these are published with committee reports.
Our new organisational development strategy will provide information about the people we employ and what we are doing to make sure we address equalities issues for our staff. We will also include information from our staff survey.
More about the Equality Act
- The Government Equalities Office has produced a series of guides called Equality Act 2010-What do I need to know? outlining the key changes in the law made by the act.
- Find out more about the specific public sector equalities duty from the government's home office website.
Read the full equality act on the government's legislation website