We recommend you update your browser to ensure a safe and engaging experience on our website.

Equality & Diversity

We are responsible for delivering a diverse range of services to the community that we serve. our success depends on the people we employ and drawing on our different perspectives and experiences. 

By attracting, recruiting and developing people from the widest possible pool of talent we can have a better understanding of our customers needs now and in the future and ensure its success.

This Policy covers all employees including centrally employed teachers but excluding staff on the complement of locally managed schools for which a separate policy applies.

Equality and Diversity are terms that are commonly used however it is important to have a common understanding of what these terms mean.

The principle of equality has been understood to be about ‘treating everyone the same’ or ‘treating everyone as you would wish to be treated’ but does this apply when you are working with people or delivering services to people who are quite different to yourself? A more appropriate way of looking at equality is to respond to individuals or groups according to their needs.

To value diversity is to recognise and value the differences between individuals and groups, to encourage their strengths and talents, and understand their needs.

It is also important to recognise the reality of victimisation, harassment and discrimination experienced by individuals, groups and communities.

Everyone has a responsibility to embrace and support equality and diversity and to challenge behaviour and attitudes that prevent us from achieving this. Using fair and objective employment practices it is our aim to ensure you:

  • Are treated fairly and with respect at all stages of employment including the recruitment process.
  • Are free from harassment, discrimination or victimisation of any description, and have the right to challenge inappropriate behaviour in a safe environment.
  • Have an equal opportunity to contribute to and achieve their potential including fair access to promotional and development opportunities.
  • Are supported in balancing work and home life commitments and to have requests for flexible working considered objectively in line with service delivery needs.
  • Understand their responsibilities in meeting the objectives of this policy and to treat others with respect and fairness.

Other policies and procedures which support equality and diversity can be referred to for more detail on the HR section of the intranet or via line managers (this list is not exhaustive). In particular the following policies are important in promoting the intent of this policy. These policies are:

The following diversity strands are presented in alphabetical order and represent the protected characteristics within the Equality Act 2010 plus Welsh language. It outlines everyone’s responsibilities and expected behaviours within the Authority to ensure a positive approach to equality and diversity within our workplace:

Age

Age diversity is promoted and valued at all levels through:

  • challenging age stereotyping
  • recognising the benefits of a of mixed age workforce
  • challenging discrimination towards younger and older staff
  • recognising that younger and older staff have different experiences and development needs
  • recognising that younger and older staff may need to work more flexible hours due to childcare and/or eldercare responsibilities.

Disability

The abilities of people with a disability are recognised and valued at all levels through:

  • focusing on what people can do rather than what they cannot
  • challenging stereotypes about people with disabilities
  • understanding the need to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace to enable individuals to achieve their full career potential
  • challenging discrimination
  • recognising that not all disabilities are visible
  • recognising that individuals may need to work more flexible hours due to their specific impairment.

Gender re-assignment

Women and men who have undergone, are undergoing or intend to undergo gender reassignment are supported by:

  • protection against all forms of discrimination, harassment or victimisation
  • Challenging stereotypes about transgender people
  • taking positive steps to ensure individuals are treated with dignity and respect
  • respecting and protecting the privacy of the individual
  • promoting positive working relationships and understanding in the workplace
  • recognising and supporting those who are subject to abuse and violence outside the workplace

Marriage and civil partnership

People will be treated fairly in the workplace irrespective of their marital or civil partnership status by:

  • individuals in civil partnerships being treated the same as married couples (including partners of the same sex) on a wide range of legal matters
  • respecting and protecting the privacy of individuals
  • promoting positive working relationships and understanding in the workplace
  • recognising and supporting those who are subject to abuse and violence outside the workplace

Pregnancy and maternity

Women will be supported through pregnancy and maternity by:

  • recognising the need to balance life at work and at home for the woman
  • supporting individuals and taking active steps to maintain communication during maternity leave and encourage the use of Keeping In Touch days
  • facilitating a positive return to work after maternity or adoption leave
  • supporting women who wish to continue breast feeding after their return to work

Race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins)

The racial and cultural diversity will be supported at all levels through:

  • challenging racial stereotypes
  • understanding, respecting and valuing different racial and cultural backgrounds and perspectives
  • challenging discrimination against black and ethnic minority groups including migrant workers and travelling communities
  • recognising that racial discrimination can be experienced on the grounds of colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins
  • recognising and supporting those who are subject to abuse and violence outside of the workplace
  • promoting positive relationships in the workplace

Religion and Belief

People will be treated fairly in the workplace irrespective of their religion and belief at all levels through:

  • challenging discrimination against religious, faith or other cultural groups
  • recognising individuals’ freedom of belief or non belief
  • supporting employees to balance their life at work to enable individuals to observe their religious or cultural practices
  • recognising and supporting those who are subject to abuse and violence outside the workplace
  • promoting positive relationships within the workplace

Sex

Women and men will be treated fairly and rewarded for their contributions at all levels by:

  • challenging gender stereotypes and all forms of discrimination, sexism and harassment
  • supporting employees in balancing their life at work and at home
  • promoting positive relationships within the workplace
  • recognising and supporting those who are subject to abuse and violence outside the workplace

Sexual Orientation

People are treated fairly in the workplace irrespective of their sexual orientation at all levels through:

  • challenging discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people
  • recognising that the level of discrimination is hard to quantify as fear of discrimination may prevent people from ‘coming out’ or being open about their sexual orientation
  • respecting it is the right of the individual to be open or otherwise about their own sexual orientation
  • challenging negative stereotypes
  • recognising and supporting those who are subject to abuse and violence outside the workplace
  • promoting positive working relationships within the workplace

Welsh Language

Bilingualism within the workplace is recognised and will be supported at all levels, in line with the commitments set out in the Welsh Language Scheme and Language Skills Strategy, through:

  • encouraging the use of bilingualism and promoting its use within the workplace
  • supporting employees to be able to undertake their duties in Welsh or English, according to their personal choice where possible
  • promoting increased use of Welsh language in the workplace and understanding of the cultural heritage
  • raising the confidence and ability of all staff in bilingual skills
  • encouraging and supporting Welsh learners in the workplace

The Executive Board/Chief Executive are ultimately responsible and accountable for ensuring that we meet our legal and policy obligations in relation to Equality and Diversity. In particular they will:

  • Demonstrate clear leadership with senior commitment and accountability for mainstreaming diversity and equality into every aspect of the organisation and service delivery.
  • Ensure compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and all associated employment legislation and codes of practice.
  • Ensure its commitments to the Equality Improvement Framework for Local Government in Wales is translated into specific actions within the Authority’s Strategic Equality Plan.
  • Act with dignity, show respect for others and develop a workplace that is inclusive and confident, free from bullying, harassment and discrimination.
  • Make our Authority a good place to work that attracts, develops and retains the most talented people from the widest range of backgrounds.
  • Ensure staff have the skills and tools they need to support our performance by understanding and responding to the needs of our customers.

Directors

All Directors are responsible for:

  • Co-ordinating a strategic and corporate approach to the management of equality and diversity issues.
  • Ensuring that equality and diversity issues are mainstreamed in the planning and delivery of the services for which they have responsibility.
  • Ensuring that equality and diversity is integral to every aspect of the employment cycle of staff.
  • Ensuring that equality impact assessments are undertaken for the service areas and policies for which they are responsible.
  • The implementation of the Authority’s Strategic Equality Plan and Objectives within their respective Departments and are accountable for operational compliance.
  • Personally undertaking and supporting their staff in development activities to ensure they have the knowledge and understanding to deliver services which are accessible to everyone within the diverse community.

The Assistant Chief Executive (People Management and Performance) and Assistant Chief Executive (Customer Focus and Policy) are the lead officers for Equality and Diversity. They are responsible for ensuring the development of policy, strategy, guidance and advice, to support the Authority’s compliance and promotion of equality and diversity with the legal and policy framework.

Heads of Service

The Heads of Service are responsible for:

  • A strategic and corporate approach to the management of equality and diversity within the service area for which they are responsible as an integral part of the business planning process.
  • Promoting, implementing and communicating the equality and diversity policy within the service area and leading by example.
  • incorporating equality and diversity principles into job profiles and work objectives.
  • ensuring those responsible for recruitment and selection, induction, learning and development, performance appraisal, pay, promotion, disciplinary action, selection for retirement and redundancy, dismissal, organisational communication and working practices, understand their role and responsibility in relation to promoting equality and diversity and to avoid discrimination in all its forms.
  • ensure that the necessary internal arrangements and resources are in place to enable the organisation to meet its statutory obligations and promote equality and diversity.

They are accountable to their departmental Directors for the performance of their DMT in relation to equality and diversity through the performance management process. The information provided from this process will provide key evidence for the Authority’s performance monitoring and will be needed for other audits (internal or external) and reporting purposes to scrutiny and Executive Board.

Managers and supervisors

All managers and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that they and their staff carry out all their duties in accordance with this policy and associated policies and guidance by:

  • leading by example and improving personal leadership abilities in promoting equality and diversity through participation in relevant management development
  • ensuring the equality and diversity policy is communicated to the team and individuals understand their personal responsibilities
  • challenging inappropriate behaviour in the workplace and promoting positive employee relationships
  • identifying staff training and development needs in relation to equality and diversity as part of the Helping People to Perform development planning process.

All Staff

You are personally responsible for ensuring that you support positively the principles of equality and diversity at all times, co-operate by promoting good relations and challenge inappropriate behaviour by following the values set out in this policy, the Code of Conduct for Staff and associated policies and guidance. Any difficulties should be raised with your line manager in the first instance. you should consider your development needs in relation to equality and diversity as part of the personal development planning process in conjunction with Helping People to Perform development planning process.

Councillors

Councillors have a personal responsibility to all staff and members of the public to uphold the values set out in this policy, promote good relations and challenge inappropriate behaviour where appropriate. Councillors are responsible for ensuring that they support positively the principle of equality and diversity in undertaking their public duties and follow the Code of Conduct for Councillors and associated policies and procedures. Councillors should consider their own development needs and will be supported through the Standards Committee and Councillors Development Programme.

Members of the public

Members of the public can expect to be treated with dignity and respect in line with this policy and the customer care principles outlined in the Authority’s Customer Care Strategy, the Customer Care Charter and the Code of Conduct for Staff and Councillors.

It is also a responsibility of members of the public to ensure that employees and Councillors are also treated with dignity and respect.

Partners and contractors

The Council works collaboratively with a range of partners and contractors and as such the public duty to eliminate discrimination and promote equality and diversity will extend to them when they are delivering a service with, or on behalf of, the Council. Partners and contractors have a responsibility to uphold the values set out in this policy as part of the contract for service.

If you have a concern regarding breaches in the application of this policy you are advised to speak to your line manager in the first instance. If your concern relates to your line manager then advice can also be provided by the Human Resource representative or Trade Union representative.

Depending on the nature of the concern if this cannot be resolved informally you should raise your concern through our appropriate policy and procedures. This includes reference to the Grievance Policy and Procedure or Dignity at Work Policy and Procedure as appropriate.

Concerns regarding bullying, harassment or victimisation can also be discussed in confidence with occupational health.

Councillors should raise any concerns with the Democratic Services Unit in the first instance.

Members of the public, partners and contractors should raise any concerns through the Authority’s Compliments and Complaints Policy.

Minor breaches of this policy will normally be dealt with through education and counselling. Serious concerns will be investigated in line with the appropriate Authority policies and procedures as follows:

Breach of the Policy by Employees

To be treated as a disciplinary issue and as described in the Council’s Disciplinary Procedure.

Breach of the Policy by Elected Members

To be treated as a breach of the Code of Conduct, and dealt with by the Standards Committee.

Breaches of the Policy by service users and members of the public

The Council has a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence, aggression, harassment, bullying or lack of dignity and respect towards its staff. It has a duty to ensure that as far as is practically possible it reduces the risk of unacceptable behaviour towards its staff during the course of their work.

In circumstances where the safety and/or dignity of staff are compromised the Council has the right to limit or withdraw access to services as appropriate.

Breach of the Policy by Contractors

Any breach of policy by a Contractor delivering a service with, or on behalf of the Council, will be addressed in accordance with the terms of that Contract.

Page updated: 05/03/2020 14:52:28