Under the Equality Act 2010, the council has a statutory duty to promote equality of opportunity for both our employees and service users. The new Public Sector Equality Duty means public, private, voluntary and community sector organisations that provide public services must have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act;
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it; and
- foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
The new Equality Duty covers the following protected characteristics:
- gender reassignment
- marriage/civil partnership (but only in respect of the requirement to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination)
- pregnancy and maternity
- race - this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
- religion or belief - this includes lack of belief
- sexual orientation (whether being lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual.