The Equality Act 2010 brings together existing anti-discrimination legislation such as the Race Relations Act, the Sex Discrimination Act and the Disability Discrimination Act. The Act sets out the Equality Duty which public bodies must fulfil when carrying out their functions.
To comply with the Equality Duty, we consider the impact on equalities when drawing up or reviewing policies and proposals which affect the way we work. This shall be embedded into our planning and decision making process and will be summed up through Equality Analysis (EA) forms.
The Equality Duty
The Equality Duty means that, when carrying out our functions, we must have due regard for the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act. This includes direct and indirect discrimination. It also involves advancing the equality of opportunity and fostering good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
Having due regard for advancing equality involves:
- removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
- taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people
- encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low
The nine protected characteristics are:
- disability (including those associated with disabled people, i.e. carers)
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- race (including ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality)
- religion or belief (including no religion or belief)
- sexual orientation
Publication of information
All public bodies including the Council are required to publish information relating to people who share a protected characteristic. This includes its employees and people, such as service users, who are affected by its policies and practices.
The Council's information is available in our Employee Equality Report and will be reviewed annually.
It is also necessary to prepare and publish one or more equality objectives that they think they should achieve in order to meet the Equality Duty. Our equality objectives are listed below. These are supported by service level objectives which are specific, measurable and realistic. Progress on how we are meeting our equality responsibilities will be reported annually within its Annual Report and Corporate Plan.
- Our workforce feels valued, respected and is reflective of the diverse communities it serves.
- We continue to improve outcomes for all (including vulnerable people and marginalised) communities by ensuring services are fully accessible and responsive to differing needs of service users.
- Partnership working helps to support our aims and vision along with the objectives of Southend Partnerships to improve the quality of life, prosperity and life chances for people in the Borough.
- The diversity of Southend is celebrated and the Borough is an increasingly cohesive place where people from all communities get on well.