The Equality Act 2010 is a cross-cutting legislative framework which replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single act.
The act simplified and strengthened the previous legislation and removed inconsistencies; delivering a modern and accessible framework of discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society. This makes the law easier for individuals and organisations to understand and comply with.
The Equality Act sets out the different ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone, such as direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, victimisation and failing to make a reasonable adjustment for a disabled person.
The Public Sector Equality Duty came into force on 5 April 2011, and this section of the Equality Act specifically relates to the duties for local authorities.
It says that we must not treat people unfairly because of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership. There are called "protected characteristics".
As a local authority we must:
- have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination
- advance equality of opportunity
- foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities
To demonstrate our compliance with the duty the following information is produced and published annually:
We are required to publish one or more equality objectives that we believe we can reasonably achieve. The following document provides details of the two broad objectives chosen by the Council and supporting actions. One objective relates to our current functions as a service provider and one relates to that as an employer.
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
We provide equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential. The Council welcomes applications from diverse candidates. Criminal records will be taken into account for recruitment purposes only when the conviction is relevant. Unless the nature of the work demands it, candidates will not be asked to disclose convictions which are ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Having an ‘unspent’ conviction will not necessarily bar a candidate from employment. This will depend on the circumstances and background to the offence(s).