Diversity monitoring is the way we describe the collection of information about people according to their "protected characteristics". There are nine protected characteristics defined in the Equality Act:
- Gender reassignment
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
- Marriage and civil partnership
It is important to remember that, while we may be obliged to ask you for your diversity information, you do not have to provide it if you don't want to.
Why we monitor
Collecting diversity data allows us to better understand the services we provide, the people we employ and the money we spend. When we are thinking about changing services or developing new policies, we need to understand the groups of people who might be affected by the proposals. If we collect data on our service users and employees, we are much more likely to know about the potential impact on those groups, be able to measure progress towards equality, and ensure a fair and inclusive environment.
Data collection can also help us to tackle inequality and underrepresentation. If we understand that certain groups are not accessing particular council services or jobs, then we can put actions in place to address it.
What we monitor
We will usually ask people for information about their protected characteristics, but quite often it will just be some, and not all, of those characteristics. We will only ask for information that we plan to use.
For some services, or in particular situations, we may also ask about your connections to the Armed Forces (as part of our pledge to support the Armed Forces Covenant) or if you are a Herefordshire care leaver (as part of our commitment to support young people leaving our care).
Safety and confidentiality of your information
We understand that trust is a significant factor in whether or not people provide personal information such as their diversity data. We take your right to confidentiality very seriously, and will only use the information that you provide for a particular purpose, which will be specified at the time of asking. When you engage with the council by submitting an online form or applying for a service we will direct you to the relevant privacy notice, which outlines how we will use and protect the information you give us.
Herefordshire Council is the Data Controller under data protection law. The legal basis for processing the data is your explicit consent to provide the information for diversity monitoring. You can withdraw your consent at any time by notifying us, using the contact details on the form that you complete.
We will tell you at the time of asking how long we will keep your data, and with whom it will be shared. You have a number of rights under data protection law, including the right to request your information. You also have a right to make a complaint about our handling of your personal data to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Herefordshire Council recognises that section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 prohibits disclosure of an individual’s gender identity who is protected by the Act.
Diversity monitoring in the recruitment process
If you are completing a diversity monitoring form as part of a job application at the council, your information will not be seen by anybody directly involved in the selection process. It will be used for statistical purposes only.