This Equality and Diversity Policy sets out our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and applies to everyone who uses BCP Council’s (the council) information, facilities, and services, including those that are provided by others on our behalf. We recognise that people have the right to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect.
We will use or roles as community leaders, service providers and employers to promote equality and celebrate diversity in our services, our workplace and within the communities of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
We and anyone acting on our behalf has a legal responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 (the act) to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (the duty).
The legal duty is to:
- eliminate (stop or prevent) unlawful discrimination
- advance (keep working to improve and promote) equality of opportunity
- foster (create and maintain) good relationships between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
We must not unlawfully discriminate against people who access our services, including in those circumstances where services are provided by third parties on our behalf.
We must not unlawfully discriminate against people who represent or are employed by the council in any capacity – councillors, staff and those seeking employment by ourselves.
Everyone who works for or represents BCP Council has a duty to challenge inappropriate language and behaviour towards others including members of the public should they come across it during their work.
We are committed to the principles of equality and respects diversity and will provide quality responsive services, appropriate to need.
An equality impact assessment (EIA) must be undertaken and support all key decisions and policy documents. Impact assessments must at least consider, but not be limited to, the protected characteristics below as set out in the Equality Act 2010:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation.
In addition to the above, we have also adopted several local characteristics that must also be considered when developing equality impact assessments. These are:
- military veterans
- children in care and Care experienced young people
- socio-economic status
- local business or community organisations.
Consideration must also be given to the articles of the Human Rights Act 1998.
We have embedded the principles of equality into our Corporate Strategy to ensure that fairness and the progression of equality are central to the development of BCP Council as a new council, this will be evident in our organisational culture and demonstrated through our values.
These commitments are reinforced through our Equalities Footprint which is defined as:
“The activities undertaken by the council in accordance with their role that contribute to the delivery of BCP Council’s equalities agenda and the duties of the council at individual, team, and service levels”. Further information can be found in our Equality footprint document.