Equality and Diversity Policies and Strategies

Equality Act 2010

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 in the Equality Analysis (EA) form. The EA form is published on our website to ensure transparency in the decision making process.

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.
Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. There are nine protected characteristics:

  • Age
  • 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)
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

It also applies to marriage and civil partnership, the 9th protected characteristic covered by the Equality Act, but only in respect of the requirement to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination.

Foster 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 equality duty includes direct and indirect discrimination:

Equality Act 2010 - Publication of information

All public bodies including the Council are required to;

   Publish information relating to people who share a protected characteristic who are

  • Its employees
  • People, such as service users who, affected by its policies and practices


  • Prepare and publish one or more equality objectives that they think they should achieve in order to meet the Equality Duty:

The Council's information is availble in our Employee Equality Report and will be reviewed annually.

Equality Objectives

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

The Inclusive Culture Pledge: Our Commitment to Building an Inclusive Culture

We are committed to improving the diversity of our company and building inclusive cultures every day. Not only is this good for business, it’s also the right thing to do. We aim to be a truly 21st century workforce, where everyone’s talents are welcomed, valued and nurtured.

As part of this we are committing to the Inclusive Culture Pledge, a special initiative by diversity consultancy EW Group.

By signing up to EW Group’s Pledge, we will benefit from a year of dedicated support on five key aspects of diversity development: Leadership, People, Brand, Data and Future. Together this will provide a focus for building our skills, awareness, confidence and maturity around workplace diversity over the course of 2018. In doing so, we are making a commitment, internally and outwardly, to the lasting importance of diversity and inclusion to our company culture.

Image of the Inclusive Culture Pledge logo


Page last updated: 09/08/2018