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jobs@northeastderbyshire Home | Equalities Policy
  • Introduction

  • Scope

  • Statement of Intent

  • Service Delivery & Customer Care

  • Equality in Employment

  • What is Diversity

  • Learning & Development

  • Responsibility

  • Legislation

  • Race Relations Act 1976

  • Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (amended 2005)

  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975

  • Commitment

  • Monitoring

  • Complaints

  • Contacts

  • Introduction

    Equalities are a high priority for North East Derbyshire District Council both as an employer and in the way services are delivered to the community.

    We wish to encourage a corporate culture based on trust and mutual respect where people value each other and treat each other with dignity.

    Good practice will be ensured in those areas where minority groups do not benefit from the protection of legislation.

    To value diversity and address all forms of discrimination throughout our area, the Council will ensure equality of access to employment and services and also ensure unfairness at work is eliminated and will mainstream equality into all policies and practices.

    It is recognised that nationally, certain groups and individuals continue to be unjustifiably discriminated against and the Council recognises its duty as an employer and to society generally, to positively promote equality of opportunity and the valuing of diversity.

    In January 2009 North East Derbyshire District Council underwent a diversity peer challenge and achieved Level 3 of the Equality Standard.

    From April 2009 a new Equality Framework for local government was introduced with five levels. Through a process of migrating achievements under the Equality Standard those that have achieved Level 3 will be treated as ‘Achieving’. Over the next few years the Council is further committed to achieving further awards of ‘Moving Towards Excellence’ and ‘Excellent’.

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    Scope

    All Councillors, employees and others acting on behalf of the Authority are responsible for implementing and supporting the policy and have a continuing duty to challenge all forms of discrimination

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    Statement of Intent

    We are committed to providing equality of service and treatment to all sections of the community and to our employees with due regard to their colour, disability, age, HIV status, sex, marital status, race, religion, gender, sexual identity, political beliefs and ethnic/national origin.

    Harassment, in any form will not be tolerated. Harassment pollutes the environment and can have a devastating effect on the health, confidence, morale and performance of those affected by it.

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    Service Delivery & Customer Care

    We are committed to providing equality in service delivery and customer care, to ensure that services and facilities are accessible, adequate and appropriate to the needs of users.

    In the Authority’s intention to provide quality services it is recognised that it is not possible to have quality without equality.

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    Equality in Employment

    People within any organisation should be valued as individuals for moral, social and business interests. Employees with varied backgrounds can bring fresh perspectives which challenge and expand existing organisational views that can lead to innovative ways of working.

    People from diverse backgrounds can contribute in different ways to providing quality services which are responsive to community and individual needs. Equal opportunities can open the door to change systems and practices - managing diversity however goes much further.

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    What is Diversity

    “Diversity, like equal opportunities, requires organisations to ensure that all decisions about the employment and training of people are objective, based on merit, relate to individual personal development criteria and support business goals” (CIPD 1996).

    Diversity issues in employment will go beyond the equality concepts which are covered by legislation and expand our equal opportunities policy. Issues do not cover just race, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability etc, but less visible dimensions such as education, work experience, socialisation.

    We have sound employment practices which give equality of opportunity for all existing and potential employees. This includes, for example, making “reasonable adjustments” for people with disabilities. Job descriptions/criteria and recruitment and selection processes will be clear and explicit.

    We will ensure that people applying for a vacancy within the Authority will be judged solely on their ability to do the job.

    Retraining, rehabilitation and redeployment will be utilised to retain employees who have sustained a disability whilst in employment and employees with progressive impairments (after reasonable adjustments have been made).

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    Learning & Development

    The Council acknowledges that learning for all employees and members is key to our Equalities Policy. Equalities training will form an integral part of employee’s induction and other training as appropriate.

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    Responsibility

    Councillors are ultimately responsible for providing ownership, overall direction and delivery of equalities in North East Derbyshire.

    Accountability for delivering and implementing the Equality Policy lies with the Chief Executive and Directors.

    Managers have a responsibility to familiarise themselves and ensure that their staff understand the policy. They should also ensure that they themselves progress the policy and that their staff actively implement it and mainstream its provisions.

    Equality initiatives, both in employment and service delivery, will form part of managers’ objectives and performance targets within their Employee Development and Performance Review.

    Each member of staff has the responsibility to read, understand and implement the policy.

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    Legislation

    The principles of this policy conform with anti-discrimination legislation but it is NEDDC’s intention that the Authority will go beyond what the law requires. The key legislation is listed below. Following the principles adopted by the government for the modernisation of local government NEDDC will seek to encourage a local response to local circumstances while securing an approach that will ensure continuous improvement in equality practice.

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    Race Relations Act 1976

    The Race Relations Act defines racial discrimination as follows:

    The Race Relations Act defines racial discrimination as follows:

    Direct Discrimination - consists of treating a person, on racial grounds, less favourably than others are or would be treated in the same or similar circumstances.

    Indirect Discrimination - consists of applying a requirement or condition which, although applied equally to persons of all racial groups, is such that a considerably smaller proportion of a particular racial group can comply with it and cannot be shown to be justifiable on other than racial grounds.

    Victimisation - consists of a person being given less favourable treatment than others in the same circumstances because it is suspected or known that they have brought proceedings under the Act or given evidence or information relating to such proceedings, or alleged that discrimination has occurred.

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    Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

    The Race Relations (Amendment) Act requires public authorities when carrying out their functions to:

    • Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination

    • Promote equality of opportunity

    • Promote good relations between people of different racial groups

    and this will be achieved by making race equality a central part of the way we work by putting it at the centre of policy making, service delivery, regulation and enforcement, and employment practice.

    The Council has a specific duty to publish a Race Equality Scheme which sets out how it plans to meet its general and other specific duties to promote race equality.

    This Scheme sets out the arrangements for meeting the duty including:

    • monitoring policies for any adverse impact on race equality

    • assessing and consulting on the likely impact of proposed policies

    • publishing the results of assessments, consultation and monitoring annually

    • Making sure the public has access to information and services

    • Training staff on the general duty

    • Monitoring applicants for jobs, promotion, training, grievances, disciplinary action and staff leaving the authority

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    Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (amended 2005)

    The Disability Discrimination Act defines a disabled person as:

    “A person with a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial or long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”

    Disabilities may include physical and/or sensory impairments, learning disabilities or mental/emotional distress and may have long or short term effects which are not always visible.

    The Council has a duty to publish a disability equality scheme and action plan by December 2006 establishing how it will undertake the following requirements:

    • Promote equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people

    • Eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under the Disability Discrimination Act

    • Eliminate harassment of disabled people that is related to their disability

    • Promote positive attitudes towards disabled people

    • Encourage participation by disabled people in public life

    • Take steps to meet disabled people’s needs.

    • The duty also places a responsibility on Local Authorities to actively INVOLVE disabled people and groups in creating the scheme from the outset and in reviewing and revising the scheme to ensure it remains relevant.

      The Council is committed to ensuring that employees and customers receive equal treatment and that services and employment opportunities are available to everyone.

      The Council is also keen to recruit, train and develop the careers of disabled candidates and will make reasonable adjustments in order to make the work environment accessible for people with disabilities.

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      Sex Discrimination Act 1975

      The Sex Discrimination Act makes it illegal to discriminate directly or indirectly against men or women.

      The Council is opposed to all forms of sex based discrimination and recognises that the majority of victims are women, gay men and lesbians.

      Such discrimination can include denial of job opportunities or exclusion from certain types of work, jokes or comments, verbal, physical or written abuse, insults and physical assaults.

      The European Commission’s Code of Practice on Protecting the Dignity of Women and Men at Work defines sexual harassment as “unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or other conduct based on sex, affecting the dignity of women and men at work”.

      Sexual harassment also includes harassment of transsexuals and people who have undergone gender reassignment.

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      Commitment

      We will ensure that Service Areas produce Action Plans to promote equality of service and that they identify those functions which involve, or have consequences for, the public and consult them in order to establish whether any group has particular needs or different priorities.

      We will produce written policies for individual service areas, endorsed by relevant Chairs, Heads of Service, minority groups and in consultation with other users.

      Steps will be taken to ensure that private sector partners/suppliers/contractors know and understand the Council’s position on equality.

      We are committed to working with and actively supporting existing equalities groups and other voluntary organisations. Ensure that information about services is accessible and where necessary, targeted at ethnic minority groups, disability groups and other identified minority groups, and in doing so will strive to make services flexible and responsive to the needs of service users.

      The Council will also be involved in initiatives, to help combat harassment and other forms of discrimination, including sharing information and taking preventive measures.

      Consultations will take place with employees, trade unions and appropriate organisations on the impact of policies/procedures, if they affect them, before implementation.

      Modifications will be made to equipment and aids provided where appropriate to enable a person with a disability to do the job. Premises will be adapted where possible.

      “Family friendly and work/life balance” employment policies will continue to be developed and improved.

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      Monitoring

      Mechanisms for reporting and recording of racial incidents and responding to them will be established.

      Monitoring/evaluation systems will be set up in order to identify groups within the community whose needs are less well met. If any specific needs are not met, service delivery plans will specify how such deficiencies will be addressed.

      We will monitor the effectiveness of services and policies through consultation surveys. Staff in post and applicants for jobs are monitored and reported upon as required by Best Value National and Local Performances Indicators.

      Other monitoring and analysis will also take place including applications for promotion and training, grievances, disciplinary action, dismissals and other reasons for leaving employment.

      We will also measure progress against the Commission for Racial Equality’s Race Standards and/or the generic Equality Standard for Local Government and report annually via the Best Value Performance Indicators.

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      Complaints

      The Council will not tolerate any form of discrimination or inequality and has a variety of methods of dealing with incidents and will pursue the most appropriate according to the occurrence.

      Other relevant policies and procedures include:-

      • Code of Conduct

      • Complaints Procedure

      • Confidential Reporting Procedure

      • Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Guidance Notes

      • Disciplinary Procedure and Rules

      • Grievance procedure

      • Report of Physical or Verbal Abuse

      • Harassment Procedure

      • Violence to Employees Policy

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      Contacts

      Members of the public should contact:

      The Human Resources Advisor
      North East Derbyshire District Council
      Council Offices
      Saltergate
      Chesterfield S40 1LF

      Telephone 01246 217013 who will then direct them to the appropriate department to deal with the complaint.

      Employees should contact: Janice Barltrop in the Human Resources and Payroll Service.

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