Equality Act 2010: Public Sector Equality Duty
The Equality Act 2010 brings together a large number of previous anti-discrimination laws within a single Act. It has strengthened the law and provides a straight forward legal framework to tackle disadvantage and discrimination more effectively. The Act protects people from being treated less favourably because of certain characteristics. These are known as 'protected characteristics' and include:
- Sex (gender)
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief (or lack of belief)
- Sexual orientation
Public Sector Equality Duty
The Equality Act 2010 places an equality duty on public bodies and organisations carrying out public functions. Its main aim is to support good decision-making by ensuring public bodies consider how different people will be affected by their activities. It also helps to deliver policies and services that are efficient and effective, accessible, and that meet different people's needs, as much as is reasonably possible.
The Public Sector Equality Duty includes a general duty and specific duties. The three main aims of the general duty require public bodies to have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups
- foster good relations between people from different groups.
To help public bodies meet the general duty, there are specific duties that require public bodies to:
- publish information to show their compliance with the Equality Duty annually
- set and publish at least one measurable equality objective every four years which will further the three aims of the Equality Duty.
Equality and diversity at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
To meet the Public Sector Equality Duty and embed the principles of equality and diversity in everything we do; the council has developed a Corporate Equality Plan.
The council's equalities priorities are:
- EP1: Seek to make the borough a welcoming place for everyone
- EP2: Seek to make sure relevant services are accessible to all
- EP3: Seek to provide fair treatment that meets individual needs
- EP4: Commit to having an increasingly diverse workforce
These are put into practice by all staff and managers in the council, supported by the council's Equality Working Party and Equality Strategy Group via a Corporate Equality Action Plan. This plan includes specific objectives that relate to different service areas and is monitored on a regular basis. The council’s equality priorities have also been incorporated into the Business Unit Plans for different areas of work in the council.
For more information about some of the changes we have made as a result of putting these priorities and objectives into practice, please view the document - Progress update on equalities priorities and objectives 2015.
Local equality and diversity information
To improve our understanding of local communities and better target our services to suit people's needs, we have collected general equality and diversity information about the characteristics of the local population and our service users including: gender, age, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief or lack of belief, transgender status, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status. For more information, please view the document:
We believe that our staff are key to making council services and work with local communities a success. Staff members come from a range of different backgrounds and we celebrate and value the diversity of our team. For more information, please view the document:
Equality Framework for Local Government (EFLG)
We have made a commitment to the Equality Framework for Local Government (EFLG). This is a tool that enables equalities to be mainstreamed into different aspects of the council's work. The council has gained an 'Achieving' status under the framework and further information on this can be found here: Basingstoke and Deane EFLG report and case studies of work.
Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs)
To find out how the council's policies, schemes and services could affect different communities, we use Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs). This way we can identify possible negative effects and overcome them whenever possible. For more information, visit our webpage on Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs)
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Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council