Rossendale Borough Council
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The council's equality duty

Equality: equal people, different needs

Introduction

Equality and fairness underpins the work of the Council at all levels as we strive to achieve fairness in all our services and as an employer. We seek to ensure that equality consideration influences the way we develop and deliver services and the way we employ and develop staff.

We aim to treat all customers and employees fairly, with respect and professionalism regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (nationality or ethnicity), religion or belief, and sexual orientation.

We recognise that not everyone's needs are the same and we will, where possible, ensure that we meet the different needs of our employees and community in order to ensure fairness and inclusion.

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 received Royal Assent on 8 April 2010.

The Equality Act 2010 replaces the existing anti-discrimination laws with a single Act. It simplifies the law, removing inconsistencies and making it easier for people to understand and comply with it. It also strengthens the law in important ways to help us tackle the discrimination and inequalities which still exist in our society.

Equality Duty

The Equality Duty, set out in the Equality Act 2010, is a duty on public bodies like the Council and others carrying out public functions,. It ensures that public bodies consider the needs of all individuals in their day to day work - in shaping policy, in delivering services, and in relation to their own employees. In particular consideration of those with protected characteristics according to the Equality Act 2010.

The protected characteristics to be considered are:

  • Age
  • Disability 
  • Gender reassignment 
  • Pregnancy and maternity 
  • Race (this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality) 
  • Religion or belief (this includes lack of belief) 
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

The Public Sector Equality Duty ('Equality Duty') requires public authorities to have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
  • 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.

The new Equality Duty replaces the three separate previous public sector equality duties for Gender, Race and Disability. The Duty now provides the same level of protection to all recognised protect characteristics.

Specific Duties

The Equality Duty is supported by two 'specific duties' which require public bodies to:

  • Publish equality information (relevant, proportionate information demonstrating their compliance with the Equality Duty) at least annually.
  • Set and publish equality objectives at least every four years.

Further information about the Equality Duty can be found here:

www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/new-equality-act-guidance/