Meeting the Public Sector Equality Duty
Swindon Borough Council set out an Equality and Diversity vision and strategy in April 2010. This strategy enabled the Council to respond to the initial implementation of the Equality Act 2010. Further changes to the council – particularly responses to the financial climate and organisational restructure designed to enable to Council to work different with the people we serve have prompted a review of the strategic equality objectives and supporting action plan.
The Council’s equality and diversity vision remains the same:
Swindon Borough will be a place which protects and promotes equality and diversity through Opportunity, Access and Fair Treatment whilst understanding and reducing the costs of inequality for Swindon’s diverse population.
So that everyone can flourish, Swindon will be an equal society which recognises and respects people’s different needs, situations and goals, establishing real freedom by removing the barriers that limit what people can do and can be.
The Public Sector Equality Duty
The Equality Act 2010 established a general duty which the Council must demonstrate. This duty means that, in the exercise of our functions, we must have due regard to 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
Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
We are also required to identify equality objectives and publish the equality information which we use to form the basis of decision making and show how we are meeting the duty – links to this information are set out below – this will be updated on an annual basis.
Protected characteristics are the areas or groups where we are required to apply the duties. They are age (young or old), race (including nationality and ethnicity), sex, disability, gender identity, religion or belief (or not having a religion), sexual orientation (including lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual identity), marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity.
The objectives we have set to deliver the council’s vision and the public sector equality duty are:
Equality Data - our objective is that SBC policy, strategy, plans, commissioning and service delivery are informed by and take account of appropriate evidence based equality data and information.
Workforce - our objective is to ensure our employment and recruitment processes promote fairness and equality for all.
Community Engagement - our objective is to work with local people to ensure that diverse communities within Swindon are included in a fair and equitable way in all of our work, services and development.
Analysing the Equality Impact - our objective is that we robustly analyse the equality impact of our decisions and service developments to ensure that all new strategic developments will support the delivery of the Council’s equality vision and statutory duties.
The SBC Equality Information Report gives details of what equality information we gather, how we have understood it and what we are doing to fill any gaps. This will be updated further as information changes.