The council's equality and inclusion commitment to you

Suffolk County Council is committed to bringing people and services together in Suffolk by providing services that are fair and accessible for everyone.

The Equality Act 2010 requires us to take a pro-active approach to equalities & inclusion.

We also have a responsibility to ensure that our partners, companies and organisations we commission, to provide services on our behalf, take the same positive approach to equality.

Download: How we deliver Equalities and Inclusion (PDF, 568KB).

The Equality Act 2010 brings about a single legal framework, providing clearer, streamlined law that is more effective at tackling disadvantage and discrimination.

Protected Characteristics

  • Discrimination law protects us from being treated less favourably because of certain characteristics. These are known as protected characteristics:
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Sex
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sexual Orientation

The Act specifies the circumstances in which each of the relevant protected characteristics apply.

The Public Sector Equality Duty, which is set out in the Equality Act 2010, requires us to:

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • advance equality of opportunity between different groups
  • foster good relations between people from different groups

It describes fostering good relations as tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups.

The Equality Act also says that public bodies must pay 'due regard' to equality. This means that we must:

  • remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
  • take steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people

The Act also states that meeting different needs involves taking steps to take account of disabled people’s disabilities.

It states that compliance with the duty may involve treating some people more favourably than others.

Undertaking Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) on new and/or revised policies or services is an effective way of identifying any positive or negative impact that the change may have on different people, according to their protected characteristics. This enables us to demonstrate that we have paid 'due regard' in coming to our decisions.

The law doesn't mean that changes can't be made, even if they have a negative effect on people. However, we must demonstrate that we've considered the impact of what could happen and what steps we've taken to mitigate against any negative impacts.

Our EIAs are available on our Policies and Procedures database by searching for Equality Impact Assessments.

The Equality Act 2010 requires us to publish our equality information on an annual basis.

This means demonstrating to you how we are delivering against our corporate equality objectives.

We reviewed our equality objectives in January 2017. The following objectives are what we are now working towards:

  • Ensure the needs of people with protected characteristics are considered when making changes to policies or services
  • Ensure that within a local working approach the voice of all communities are heard when decisions are being made
  • Empower more people with protected characteristics to live safe, healthy and independent lives

Equality reports

The equality reports published below provide information about the: 

  • demographic profile of Suffolk
  • profile of our workforce
  • activities that have been undertaken across the organisation in the last year to support our equality objectives and embed equalities into all areas of work  
Workforce Equality Information Report 2016 (PDF, 919KB)
Our Equalities Information and Priorities 2017 (PDF, 286KB)
Our demographic profile (PDF, 440KB)
Children and Young People's Services: Accessibility Strategy (PDF, 86KB)
How we deliver Equalities and Inclusion (PDF, 560KB)
Equalities and Inclusion: Our Corporate Story 2015-16 (PDF, 191KB)

Our Equality Charter

We want to promote an inclusive culture for all our staff and the communities that we serve.

This Equality Charter sets out our commitment to equality and diversity. (PDF, 255KB)

Accessibility

Read about how we make the our information on our website as accessible as possible. 

Interpreting and translating services

Suffolk County Council use INTRAN to provide our translation and interpreting services.

We use interpreters or translate information where someone would be at risk if they are unable to understand English. In other situations we will do so where appropriate and in response to identified need.

More information

Contact the Equalities Lead Adviser on 01473 265160.