Equalities and diversity
Find information about our approach to equality, diversity, and inclusion.
We have just published our updated equality duty for 2022. This shows what we do to think about how our policies or decisions affect people who are protected under the Equality Act.
As a community leader and service provider, the council believes that no person should be treated unfairly and is committed to eliminate all forms of discrimination in compliance with our
, which sets out the council's aims and objectives for equality.
Equality information and the Equality Duty
The council is committed to equality of opportunity in our approach to service delivery, employment and being a community leader. We are committed to identifying, understanding and eliminating all barriers that prevent access to services, information and employment.
We are committed to ensuring that our equality information is as up to date as possible and will be reviewing it on a regular basis to include new data.
As part of the Equality Duty, Uttlesford District Council compiled and published a wide variety of equality related data on the 31 January 2012. The Equality information and the Equality Duty has been updated for 2021.
The public sector Equality Duty is made up of a general equality duty which is supported by specific duties. Under the terms of the specific duty, we must:
- prepare and publish one or more objectives that will support the council in meeting the requirements of the general Equality Duty
- ensure that those objectives are specific and measurable
- publish those objectives in such a manner that they are accessible to the public
Uttlesford District Council is pleased to publish its equality information as required by the public sector Equality Duty.
Equality Framework for Local Government
Uttlesford District Council has adopted the Equality Framework for Local Government as its key delivery tool. We will produce a Corporate Equalities Action Plan aimed at raising the council's standards in line with that of the Equality Framework for Local Government. The standards and target for achievement are set out here.
The Equality Framework for Local Government (EFLG) details five performance areas. These are:
- knowing your communities
- leadership, partnership and organisational commitment
- involving your communities
- responsive services and customer care
- a skilled and committed workforce
In addition, it has three levels of achievement, namely:
- 'Developing' - understanding the importance of equality
- 'Achieving' - delivering better outcomes
- 'Excellent' - making a difference
We are working towards the 'Achievement' level.
The equality objectives
a. To develop an improved level of understanding of Uttlesford's community and its needs through data gathering, research and community mapping.
- Specific action. Create an Equalities monitoring system that ensures equalities is included in customer service questionnaires and service user surveys, building on the information accessed from the Census and engaging with our community to inform them as to why this information is required.
b. To continue to work to improve access to and take-up of Council Services by developing engagement across all the protected equality groups.
- Specific action. Continue to support and organise events and projects that promote and celebrate equalities such as the Tenant Forum, Citizens Panel, Disability Forum, Ageing Well Forum, International Day for Older People, LGBT History month, Disability History Month, Community Partnership work around age, community safety, domestic violence, hate crime
The council will be engaging with members of the public, voluntary organisations, staff and trade unions to demonstrate that their earlier input has informed our objectives, particularly in a community that we recognise is changing.
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 came into effect on 1 October 2010 and brings together, harmonises, and extends current equality law. The existing anti-discrimination laws have been consolidated into a single Act, which has been introduced to strengthen the laws preventing discrimination and the inequalities that still exist in society today.
The Equality Act has also created changes to earlier legislation and includes discrimination previously unrecognised in legislation. In essence, it creates a new duty on public bodies to tackle discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and encourage good community relations.
The term protected characteristics has replaced equality strands for describing the protected traits held by groups or individuals under anti-discrimination and equality legislation. The earlier separate duties for disability, gender and race have been replaced with a single, more effective framework and the new framework covers:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
Equality and Health Impact Assessments
The Equality & Health Impact Assessment (EqHIA) is a tool to ensure that all activity meets the needs of individuals and groups that use our services; whilst at the same time ensuring a person's chance of leading a healthy life is the same wherever they live and whoever they are. We want to ensure that the activities of the Council are 'fit for purpose' and meet the needs of Uttlesford's increasingly diverse communities and employees.
We carry out an on the services we deliver, our policies, functions, strategies, and procedures as part of the work on equality for local government. This includes existing policies, new policies or those which are being changed.
They assess whether a proposed policy, procedure, service change or plan will affect people differently based on their 'protected characteristics' and if it will affect their human rights.
Assessments accompany key decisions and can be found on the council's committee system.