Equality and diversity

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. The Act sets out the protected characteristics which are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Herefordshire Council equality policy

The council's equality policy is designed to demonstrate our commitment to equality, and evidence how we comply with the Equality Act 2010. It makes reference to the inequalities highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and declares our solidarity with people who are protesting against racism.

The policy document draws together:

  • Our equality objectives
  • Evidence of the work across various council services which currently addresses equality issues
  • Areas where additional actions are proposed

An appendix with statistics and background information accompanies the policy.

An easy read version of the equality policy 2020-2023 is also available.

How we meet our statutory duties under the Equality Act 2010

Public sector equality duty

Public sector organisations subject to the equality duty must, in the exercise of their functions, 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

Some of the ways in which we do this are:

  • We assess the potential impact of any changes we make to our services or policies on different groups of people (protected characteristics). We produce an equality impact assessment where appropriate and use this to make sure that our decision-making is fair and does not disadvantage any particular group
  • We deliver (or support partner organisations to deliver) community events which enhance cohesion, greater awareness, and good relations

The diversity of our workforce

It is a requirement of the Equality Act 2010 that all public organisations with more than 150 employees publish the diversity make-up of their workforce. We comply with this by annually publishing an equality analysis of our workforce and our councillors.

Setting equality objectives

Our equality objectives are set out in detail in the equality policy. They are:

  • Address social issues that impact on equality
  • Promote our values and acceptable standards of behaviour
  • Make fair and equitable decisions
  • Recruit fairly and support our workforce
  • Make our services accessible
  • Provide tailored support

Gender pay gap reporting

As a result of the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017, all public sector employers (with 250 or more employees) are required to publish annual information about the difference between pay for male and female employees. This is called the gender pay gap. The current gender pay gap for Herefordshire Council is 8.2 percent (on the snapshot date of 31 March 2020), and detailed statistics can be found within the equality analysis of our workforce.