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Equalities policy statement

Committed to equality of opportunity in employment and services.

The county council wants to create a culture where people of all backgrounds and experience feel appreciated and valued. It is committed to achieving equality of opportunity in service delivery and employment. All people who access services, job seekers and employees will be treated fairly and without discrimination. Discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, maternity and pregnancy, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation (or any other unjustifiable criterion) will not be tolerated.

The council is opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination (including harassment of any kind). The council will take appropriate action wherever instances of discrimination and harassment occur, in the delivery of services and in the course of employment. It will work effortlessly with its partners to develop effective procedures and policies to combat all forms of unlawful discrimination and to share good practice.

The council will fulfil its legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and the associated Public Sector Equality Duty by giving ‘due regard’ to the need to: 

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation; 
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and 
  • foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities 

This will include removing and/ or minimising disadvantages, taking steps to meet the needs of different people and encouraging people from protected groups to participate in society. 

Delivery of Services

Leicestershire County Council will ensure that all services are provided fairly and without discrimination. Reasonable adjustments will be made so that services are accessible to everyone who needs them. Peoples cultural and language needs will be recognised and services will be provided which are appropriate to these needs. 

The council will monitor the take up of services from different sections of the Leicestershire population. The information collected will be used to inform service planning and delivery.  

Equality and Human Rights Impact Assessments (EHRIAs) will also be carried out on council services to assess how services are provided to individuals and different sections of the community. The results of the EHRIAs will highlight areas for improvement, which will be addressed through service plans.

Before awarding contracts enquiries will be made of potential contractors about their equalities policies and practices. Contract documents will contain terms requiring contractors to comply with their statutory equality obligations and the council’s equalities policies and practices.

Voluntary sector organisations aided by the council will be expected to have equal opportunities policies and procedures covering employment and service delivery. They will be expected to comply with their statutory equality obligations, the council’s equalities policies and practices.

The council takes complaints seriously. Members of the public, including job seekers, who feel they have been unfairly treated, have the right to use the County Council’s complaints procedure. 

Employment

The council will work towards creating a workforce which reflects Leicestershire’s diverse population. It will ensure that no-one is unfairly discriminated against when applying for a job or during the course of their employment with the council.

All employees have equal access to training and career development regardless of any of the considerations mentioned above. The training needs of particular groups of employees who are under-represented in specific occupations and management posts will receive positive attention.

Comprehensive monitoring of the workforce and job applicants by age, disability, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation is undertaken and is published. Where required, we will consider introduction of monitoring in other equalities areas. The purpose of monitoring is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Equal Opportunities Policy and take action where evidence shows unfair treatment or where particular communities are not adequately reflected within the workforce.

An employee who has a concern regarding unfair discrimination or harassment at work may use one of the council’s formal procedures e.g. grievance, bullying and harassment. This does not affect an employee’s right of reference to an employment tribunal within the statutory time limits.

Responsibility of all County Council Employees

The council requires all its employees to behave in ways that promote equality and are non-discriminatory. This applies to the way they behave to members of the public in the delivery of services and to other employees in the course of their work. 

Employees should participate actively in measures introduced by the council to ensure that there is equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. Employees should also draw the attention of management to alleged unlawful or unfair discriminatory acts or practices. 

Should employees, through the course of their employment, be found to have caused or encouraged discrimination, this will be regarded as a particularly serious offence, rendering them liable to disciplinary action.
 

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